Red-Tailed Hawk

"Red-Tailed Hawk" pen on marker-paper colorized in Gimp

As I was finishing up my Forest Fog photo-shoot the other morning a Red-Tailed Hawk flew over and sounded his eerie scream.  As if I wasn’t already a little spooked in the foggy woods all alone hearing rustlings!

Some facts about Red-Tailed Hawks…

  • They are the most common type of hawk and one of the largest birds in North America.
  • They are raptors or birds of prey and have exceptional eye sight, sharp talons, and hooked upper beaks; other diurnal (active during the day) raptors include eagles, falcons, and osprey.
  • They put on a spectacular courting display and mate for life.
  • Sometimes they hunt in pairs and have been observed standing at opposite sides of a tree to catch a squirrel.
  • People sometimes take young hawks (a highly regulated practice) when they are still trainable to use as hunting assistants and when the hawk catches prey the hunter must carefully approach and made a trade.
  • Hawks hold their wings at an angle to maintain flight (like a kite) and flap them infrequently to conserve energy and when they dive they can reach speeds of 120 mph!

A good website for identifying birds is The Cornell Lab of Ornithology ‘s All About Birds.  There you can read descriptions, see pictures and videos, and hear bird calls.

You can also read about a very famous Red-Tailed Hawk of New York City in Pale Male by Janet Schulman and make sure to check out the trailer for a documentary about the same famous bird!


I'm a practical mom inspired by nature & I enjoy sharing ideas that encourage kids' innate curiosity & creativity. Interested in subscribing? Check out the blue box at the top of my sidebar. I'm also a wannabe author/illustrator & product designer by day. Let's connect! If you purchase through my Amazon links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here & elsewhere on the internet.


  1. I love this. There is a hawk that comes around in the very early morning sometimes. We live in a neighborhood, so he comes from the fields a few miles away. We don’t always see him, but he’s so big, beautiful and graceful when he visits. Your post made me think of him. =)

    • Thanks for the comment! Not the most common bird to see. I saw a pair of them a few weeks ago but this was the first time I heard the scream.

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