Learn About Red-tailed Hawks!

Say Hello to Nittany!

Nittany  joined Wildlands Conservancy’s education animal family when he was injured in the wild and blinded in one eye. Red-tailed Hawks are one of the most common raptor (no, not the dinosaur kind- it’s another word for a bird of prey) species in North America.

In the video below, Wildlands Environmental Educator Jeanne Hamscher presents this majestic bird and gives some interesting facts about their adaptations, habits, and more!

Are There Hawks in my Neighborhood?

Red-tailed Hawks like to hunt in open areas such as roadsides, forest edges, and fields. Why do they like to hunt in my neighborhood? Well, one reason is that one of their preferred meals, the grey squirrelis common around suburban housing developments.

What’s That Sound?

In plenty of movies, you’ll see images of  the majestic Bald Eagle soaring and letting loose a screech that echoes through the mountains. The problem is, Eagles don’t quite sound like that! They sound like this. The sound commonly associated with eagles on TV and in films is usually the recorded sound of a Red-tailed Hawk’s cry.

Red-tailed Hawks make a range of sounds. Listen below to see if you can recognize any of these sounds, and use it to help you identify hawks in your neighborhood!

Look to The Skies.

If you’re paying attention, Red-tailed Hawks are fairly common and easy to spot. This species has broad wings and short tails, making them excellent at soaring and gliding. If you see a bird in the sky flying without doing much flapping, it could be a Red-tailed Hawk! Another common place to see these birds of prey is atop telephone poles, scanning roadsides for prey. Look for their dark “belly band” (looks like they’re wearing a belt) to identify them.