I got back to where the hawk was perched and pulled off the road on the opposite side of the street. It was still facing the other way but when I was able to look at it with out worrying about swerving into opposing traffic I was sure that it was not a red-tail. Then it turned its head and I knew exactly what it was.
There have been a lot of reports lately of red-shouldered hawk sightings. This is strange because most of the population migrates to warmer climates during the winter months.
Fortunately this red-shoulder was very cooperative. He took off from the wire and landed on a fence that was about eye level to me as I sat in my truck.
The red-shoulders hawks prefered habitat is deciduous or mixed deciduous-conifer forests and swamps. They prefer having dead trees around on which ti perch so that they can get an unobstructed view as they scan the forest floor for prey. Their prey consists mostly of rodents, squirrels, rabbits, snakes, lizards and frogs.Red-shoulders are monogamous and territorial. Breeding accures between April and July with the same nest often reused from year to year, although they may refurbish it in the spring.Red-shouldered hawks live an average of only about 2 years in the wild. Even though they have very few predators, great horned owls and raccoons are a threat to the eggs, chicks and incubating adult, collisions with cars, buildings and other man mad objects as well as habbitat loss are contributing factors to their short life expectency.