Red-tailed Hawk
Name: Red-tailed Hawk
Scientific name: Buteo jamaicensis
Range: Central Alaska through Canada across the entire United States, south through Mexico and into Central America
Habitat: Grass lands or marsh- shrub habitats
Status: Not threatened 
Diet in the wild: mice, rabbits, hares, medium size birds, lizards, snakes
Diet in the zoo: carnivore diet
Location in the zoo:   Texas Wild Exhibit

Physical description:

Weight: 2-4 lbs.
Length: 22"
Wing Span: 56 inches".
Sexual Maturity: 3 yrs.
Mating Season: spring
Incubation: 28-32 days 
No. of Eggs: 1-3
Birth Interval: year
Life span : 10-21 yrs.

General information:
The Red-tail can be found high in the sky or perched on a telephone pole.  To help in identifying the Red-tail Hawk look at the rounded tail which will show off a russet red color.  This will only be in hawks that have reached there second year in age, when the molting process takes place.

Special anatomical, physiological or behavioral adaptations:

Like all hawks, the Red-tailed Hawk's talons are its main weapons.  Hawks are carnivores (meat eaters) that belong to the category of birds known as raptors.  The eyesight of a hawk is 8 times as powerful as a human's.  Since the eyes are located towards the side of the head the hawk cannot see directly in front of it. 

Comments about the Red-tailed Hawks of the Fort Worth Zoo:

I did not see the  Red-tail Hawk at the Fort Worth Zoo. 
However, I was able to find some curious facts 
that relate to the Hawks.

The Red-tailed Hawk is the most common member of the buzzard hawk family.

The eyesight of a Hawk is 8 times as powerful as a human's.

Like all hawks, the Red-tailed Hawk's talons are its main weapons.

85 to 90 % of the Red-tailed Hawk's diet is composed of small rodents.

Personal Observations:
In my neighborhood there are many fields where I've seen a Red-tail Hawk.  This bird is very distinct in his coloring and is not hard to identify when in flight.  Typically when I see this hawk it is perched on top of a telephone pole or a road sign.  Another aspect that will help you spot this bird is its size.  It is much bigger than most birds that are in the area.

Source Materials and Related Links:

Page author:Eric Johnson

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