Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk
in flight

Photo by Nikki Lefebvre

Baby Red-shouldered Hawk approx. 2 1/2 weeks old

Red-shouldered Hawk,
first year bird


Red-shouldered Hawk
Buteo lineatus


The Red-shouldered Hawk is a common buteo in East Texas and eastern North America.

Birds are permanent residents of the area they are born, but the most northern birds will migrate south in the winter.

Species information:

Length:            17”
Wingspan:       38 – 42”
Weight:           1.4 – 2 lbs

:  Adults have dark rusty chests with light horizontal barring. Wings and tail are black with white horizontal barring. The red shoulders are not easily seen at a distance. Iris darkens with age from light to dark brown. Immature birds have brown vertical stripes on their chest and the tail is brown with light brown bands.

: Found in wooded areas near streams and rivers.

:  Strong wing beats with intermittent gliding. Flies through woods with ease. Perches in trees.

:  Loud “keeyuur-keeyuur”,  usually 3-4 times, that drops in pitch.  Very vocal species especially in spring when courting or protecting territory.

:  Small mammals, amphibians, snakes, birds

:  Found in the crotch of tall trees. Made of sticks.  They may use the same nest, but more often will build a new one. They usually lay 2-3 eggs that are incubated for about 25 days.  Young fledge in about 6 weeks.