Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis Scientific name definitions

C. R. Preston and R. D. Beane
Version: 1.0 — Published March 4, 2020
Text last updated May 20, 2009

Figures from this Account

Distribution of the Red-tailed Hawk
Figure 2. Breeding distribution of the Red-tailed Hawk by subspecies

Approximate breeding distribution of Red-tailed Hawk races: HA = harlani, AL = alascensis, CA = calurus, KR = “kriderii,” BO = borealis, FUE = fuertesi, SO = soccorroensis, HAD = hadropus, FU = fumosus, UM = umbrinus, SOL = solitudinus, JA = jamaicensis, KE = kemsiesi, CO = costaricensis. Adapted from Johnsgard (1990).

Figure 6. Annual cycle of breeding, migration, and molt in the Red-tailed hawk

Annual cycle of breeding, migration, and molt in the Red-tailed hawk in the eastern U.S. Thick lines equal peak activity, thin lines off peak.

Figure 1. Breeding and year-round ranges of the Red-tailed Hawk.

Only northern populations (shown here in blue) are migratory.

Figure 3. Red-tailed Hawk with prey.

In western states, this hawk catches and eats many species of snakes. By J. Schmitt.

Figure 4. Typical vocalizations of the Red-tailed Hawk

(Top) male scream, in flight, Franklin Co., OH 19 July 1967 (Borror Lab of Bioacoustics # 9206); (Bottom) courtship calls, Oregon, 4 July 1965 (BLB # 7839).

Figure 5. Aggressive, perching posture; also used by birds in the hand.

By J. Schmitt.

Recommended Citation

Preston, C. R. and R. D. Beane (2020). Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (A. F. Poole, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.rethaw.01