Buteo Jamaicensis – Red-tailed Hawk

Distinguishing Features – Upper side, dark brown randomly mixed with white and reddy-brown. Upper tail surface, characteristic chestnut colour (hence the name “red-tailed”), bearing narrow black subterminal band with whitish tip.

Dusky strip from corners of the mouth to shoulder. Underparts are whitish, with a band, lined with random, slate-colored markings. The underside of tail grayish with faint bars. Females are somewhat larger than males.


  • Male: 48 – 56 cm (19.25 – 22.5 in)
  • Female: 53 – 61 cm (21.25 – 24.5 in)

Red-tailed Hawk


In both woodlands and open areas.


Mostly in tops of large trees but will nest on a cliff where trees are not available. Nest is made of larger twigs, lined with moss, bark, grass or other soft materials.

  • Eggs, 2 – 4; white, lightly spotted with brown.
  • Incubation period 28 – 32 days.


The Red-tailed Hawk is often seen perched on a branch or a telephone line surveying the surrounding countryside. Its diet consists mainly of small rodents and birds, as well as larger insects.

There are lots of other types of hawks, like Osprey for example.