Red-Tailed Hawk

Red-Tailed Hawk

Red-Tailed Hawk

Description: A heavy buteo, with a variety of color phases. Adults are typically dark brown above, and the breast may be light with a darker belly band or uniformly dark.

Tail is red above and whitish or pinkish below with a narrow, dark band at the tip. Tips of the wings are black, contrasting with the light bases.

Wingspan is about 50 inches. Young have gray tail bands banded with brown.

Range: Statewide

Niche: A diurnal predator, preying mainly on rodents and rabbits but occasionally on small birds and reptiles.

Life History: Breeding season begins in late February. Usually lay 2 to 3 spotted eggs, which hatch in 30 to 35 days and fledge in 45 to 46 days. Nest is a 15 to 70 foot high platform of sticks, usually in a tree or wooded area, on top of a saquaro, or on a power line pole.

Comments: Red-tailed hawks are often seen sitting on telephone poles. They have the widest variation in plumage and are the most commonly seen buteo in Arizona.

Red-Tailed Hawk Viewing Areas