It is common to see red-tailed hawks perched on light poles and signs on the sides of roads and highways. They can often be seen on the same perch day after day. This is because the red-tail is an ambush hunter. They conserve energy by perching and waiting for their prey to show itself. Road sides are good habitat for this style of hunting. Garbage thrown from passing cars bring rodents down to the road and the cut grass and open space that you typically find around roads helps the hawk to locate and pounce on its prey. Unfortunately this exposes the red-tail to its primary predator which would be us. At The Raptor Center they get quite a few red-tails that have been hit by cars down in the clinic. Fortunately this red-tail was flying in the opens skies above Crex Meadows when I took this pic.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Red-tailed Hawk Flying Free in the Open Sky
The red-tailed hawk is the most common hawk found in North America. They are found in almost every type of habitat, except for unbroken forests and the extreme north. They eat a wide variety of different types of prey which is one reason why they have been so successful.