Red-tailed Hawks: Babies!
May 5, 2020
Being in and near trees all the time means that we get a bird’s eye view of a lot of cool wildlife! Recently, one of our tree pruning crews came upon a nest of baby red-tailed hawks at a client’s property on Lake Kiowa, located in Cooke County. We were lucky enough to snap this photo, without disturbing the nest or babies.
It’s typical for a red-tailed hawk’s nest to consist of 2-3 eggs that incubate for 28-35 days. The baby hawks above – called eyas – will leave the nest 6-7 weeks after hatching. Adorable, right?
Identify Red-tailed Hawks
Red-tailed hawks are large birds, reaching over 2-feet tall with a wingspan up to 4-feet wide. They are named for their striking brick red tail that is visible during flight. Female birds are larger than the males; both have a white breast and varying degrees of reddish-brown plumage.
Where Red-tailed Hawks Live
Red-tailed hawks are found all throughout the United States and Canada, stretching into Mexico and Central America. They live in a wide range of habitats, but are commonly found in open areas, such as fields, where they can watch for prey. It’s easy to spot the large bird sitting on top of telephone poles, fence posts, or trees. Most birds live in the area where they are born, but northern birds do migrate south in the winter.
Red-tailed hawks don’t have a preference of what type of tree they build their nest in – so long as it’s tall! Nests are usually found in the crown of trees where the hawks use dried sticks to construct huge bowl-shaped nests. The next can reach 3-feet across and 6-feet high! These hawks mate for life with one partner and will use the same nest year after year.
These majestic birds feed on all types of small mammals like rats, squirrels and rabbits, other birds, and reptiles like snakes. Sometimes they also eat frogs, insects, and carrion. Their incredible eyesight allows them to spot prey and quickly swoop down to catch their meal. If you keep small livestock, such as backyard chickens, be warned they will be a favorite target for this skilled hunter.
Be sure to look up & keep your eyes peeled for hawks in your neighborhood! They are commonly found in urban areas in Dallas and Fort Worth.
FAQs About Red-tailed Hawks
- Red-tailed hawks mate for life
- They typically lay 2-3 eggs
- They nest in tall trees
- They feed on all types of small mammals
- The hawks stand 2-feet tall with a wing span of 4-feet
Posted: May 5, 2020