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Red-shouldered Hawk - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 18:48, 17 March 2021 by Sbarnhardt (talk | contribs) (Removed unneeded blank line in Ozprey1 Flight image)
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B. l. texanus, adult
Photo © by Stanley Jones
Camelot Park, Bryan, Brazos County, Texas, USA,17 September 2013
Buteo lineatus

Identification

B. l. extimus, adult
Photo © by tetoneon
Naples, Florida, USA,12 January 2014

38–47 cm (15-18½ in); females larger

  • Brown head
  • Red chest
  • Pale belly with reddish bars
  • Narrow tail marked with narrow white bars
  • Red "shoulder" is visible when the bird is perched
  • Upper parts dark with pale spots
  • Long yellow legs
  • In flight, distinctive translucent crescent near tips of primaries
  • Very vocal compared to most other raptors
  • Juveniles lack the reddish shoulders and have vertical streaking on the breast. The tail has buff, not white bars.

====Variations====

B. l. elegans, adult
Photo © by digishooter
Wofford Heights, Kern Co., California, USA, 21 December 2007

The subspecies differ in color intensity, with B. l. extimus the palest, and B. l. elegans the most richly orange; also slight differences in size though this is not useful in the field.

There is less plumage variation between the juveniles of the different subspecies.

Distribution

Juvenile
Photo © by Helen Baines
SE Texas, USA, 15 December 2008

Eastern North America and along the coast of California and northern Mexico.

Taxonomy

Juvenile
Photo © by STEFFRO1
Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, USA, 9 February 2021

Subspecies

Photo © by Ozprey1
Princeton, Minnesota, USA,
13 March 2021

Five subspecies are accepted[1]:

  • B. l. lineatus:
  • South-eastern Canada, north-eastern and central eastern USA
  • B. l. alleni:
  • South-eastern USA (except southern Florida)
  • B. l. extimus:
  • B. l. elegans:
  • B. l. texanus:

The California subspecies B. l. elegans is well separated from the rest of the species' range, and has been suggested as a potential species split, though none of the major authorities have accepted this.

Habitat

Deciduous and mixed wooded areas, often near water. Quite common in suburban subdivisions with trees, water features and golf courses. Observed at heights around 94m.

Behaviour

Breeding

A stick nest is built in a major fork of a large tree and 3 to 4 blotchy marked eggs are laid. They are incubated for 28 to 33 days. The young leave the nest at about six weeks of age, but remain dependent on the parents until they are 17 to 19 weeks old.

Diet

Includes voles, mice and chipmunks, amphibians, reptiles (especially small snakes), small birds and large insects. They usually hunt from a perch.

Vocalisation

Call: Loud, strident repeated cries: keeah, keeah, keeah.

Gallery

Click on photo for larger image

References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Dykstra, C. R., J. L. Hays, and S. T. Crocoll (2020). Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus), 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.reshaw.01
  3. BirdForum Member observations

Recommended Citation

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