Red-Shouldered Hawk (Adult and Young)

3.5" x 5.5" (9 x 14 cm)
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No. 8 Red-shouldered Hawk Length, male, 18 1/2 inches This bird, like its relative, the Red-tailed Hawk, is often called by the misleading name of "Hen Hawk" or "Chicken Hawk." It is unfortunate that these two species should so often be falsely accused of crimes usually committed by two other members of the family. The favorite haunts of the Red-shouldered Hawk are wooded areas in the neighborhood of small water courses. Here it obtains its food, which, for the most part, consists of small reptiles, frogs, mice, insects and crawfish. It seldom catches either birds or poultry, and is a beneficial species. "Of 220 stomachs examined, 3 contained poultry; 12, other birds; 102, mice; 40, other mammals; 20, reptiles; 39, batrachians; 92, insects; 16, spiders; 7, crawfish; 1, earthworms; 2, offal; 3, fish; and 14 were empty." (Fisher.) Often the scream of this Hawk can be heard far above, bringing a touch of the wilderness as the bird soars in great circles in the sky. The nest is usually placed in a tall tree and is sometimes occupied several seasons in succession. From three to five eggs are laid. These are dull white, sprinkled or blotched with chocolate. Classification: Order Raptores. Family Butconida. Scientific name: Buteo lineatus. Range: Throughout eastern North America from Nova Scotia and Manitoba, south to the Gulf of Mexico and west to the Great Plains

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