Another reason for that red-tails have been so successful is their ability to adapt to us. The most common place that I see red-tails here in Minnesota is perched on light pools on the side of highways and freeways. The reason for this is because human populations have a tendency to attract rodents, its because of all of our garbage. Freeways and highways are no exception. People often through garbage out their windows as they drive down to the road, this garbage attracts rodents, which in turn attracts the hawks. Since there are not many trees along the sides of the bigger highways and interstates, and since we are kind enough to keep the grass cut short it is an easy place for the red-tails to hunt for these rodents. The only obstacle are the cars, which is why quite a few red-tails, as well as other birds, are admitted to the clinic at The Raptor Center each year because they have been hit by a car.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Sky watch Friday: Red-tailed Hawk
The red-tailed hawk is one of the most common raptors that can be found in North America. They range all through out North America with the exception of the far north regions of Canada. One reason for their success, where many other species have declined due to mans interference, is that when it comes to food they are generalists, meaning that they have a very diverse diet. This allows them to adapt well in a variety of different habitats because they are able to find food. So you can find red-tails in Minnesota in the winter, where they are hunting for rodents under the snow, or you can find red-tails in the desert where they are hunting lizards and snakes or flying in the skies over Yellowstone, like this one was, hunting for ground squirrels.