Red-tailed hawks are commonly called ‘chicken hawks,’ but it’s a name they don’t deserve, because they rarely eat chickens. They eat mostly rodents, but will also eat various mammals, reptiles, birds, and sometimes even venomous snakes. The first year of life is a daunting experience for young Red-tailed hawks—only 50 percent live to see their second Spring.
Red-shouldered hawks are most commonly seen among deciduous wooded areas near swamps and rivers in the southeastern United States. Their diet consists of small mammals, snakes, and amphibians. Red shouldered hawks have distinctive wing characteristics that make them recognizable in flight—their wing tips curve slightly forward and possess a translucent crescent shape.
Harris’s hawks are very social birds! Often called ‘Wolves of the Sky,’ they hunt in packs in order to catch bigger prey. They’re also known to help their parents raise new broods of young, which proves their sociability. They are desert birds and can be found in the southwest. If you’re lucky, you might see a few of these birds ‘back stacking’ on top of another in the wild to gain predatory advantage or simply to find a spot to perch.