Red-tailed Hawk

(Buteo jamaicensis)


Red-tailed hawk

Animal Info

The Zoo is home to one female red-tailed hawk who came to the Zoo in May 2014. The red-tailed hawk is a medium-sized bird of prey. Its head is distinguished by a hooked beak and supraorbital ridge over the eyes.

Status in the Wild

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status: Least concern.


Red-tailed hawks are widespread and the most common hawk throughout North America. In Alaska and Canada, they migrate to avoid severe winters, with migration peaking in October/November. Habitats vary but include rural and urban areas that contain woods, open country, deserts and mountains.


Red-tailed hawks feed mostly on small- to medium-sized mammals such as voles, squirrels, rabbits and hares. They rarely take (but have been observed consuming) birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, large insects and carrion.

Did you know?

Red-tailed hawks may live about 25 years in captivity.

Red-tailed hawks are monogamous and may mate for life.

These diurnal hawks are primary solitary but will be social during breeding season and during migration.

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