Buteo lineatus


Unlike many other hawks, the Red-shouldered Hawk does most of its hunting from a perch. This bird feeds on frogs, toads, snakes, mice, and occasionally crayfish or other invertebrates.


General: 16 to 24 inches in length.

Adult: Reddish breast and undertail coverts. Brown head. Pale belly with lots of reddish barring. Dark tail with narrow white stripes. Flight feathers are dark above with white barring and pale below with dark barring. Pale, translucent crescent at base of primaries. Reddish lesser secondary upperwing coverts appear as reddish shoulder at rest. Short, hooked beak that has a dark tip and yellowish base. Sexes similar. Florida birds (B. l. extimus) have paler heads and breasts than California (B. l. elegans) and Texas (B. l. texanus) birds, which are much redder.

Immature: Brown head, back and upperwing coverts. Small reddish patch on lesser secondary upperwing coverts. Flight feathers pale below with faint barring. Tail stripes are buff instead of white. Pale supercilium.


Deciduous woodlands, farms.


2-3 white eggs with brown spots. The eggs have an 28 day incubation period. Fledging occurs in 39-45 days. The nest is large mass of leaves and twigs built 20-60 feet up in a forest tree.

Observed Locations:

  • Balboa Park, San Diego
  • Guajome Park, Oceanside
  • Lake Murray, La Mesa
  • Tijuana River Valley

  Listen To This Bird ( mp3 )
         Song #1

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