Red-tailed Hawk — Buteo jamaicensis

Order Falconiformes
Family Accipitridae
Genus Buteo
Species jamaicensis

When this large, broad winged hawk veers in its flight, the rufous color of the upper side of its tail can be seen from above (primarily visible on adults) – thus the name Red-tailed Hawk. The under parts of typical adults shows a white breast with a band of brown streaks across the belly (referred to as a “belly band”). This hawk is often seen perched on trees, telephone wires or poles near a road or highway. It is the most common hawk observed throughout the eastern United States.

Red-tailed Hawk
© Lynn Whitmore, March 2015

Community Contributions

(CC) BY-SA Benjamin Shirkey,
December 2012

A red-tailed hawk perching on a tree limb.


Birds of the Arboretum

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Photo by Marshall Faintich

Blue-winged Warbler

Blue-winged Warbler
Photo by Marshall Faintich

Brown Thrasher

Brown Thrasher
Photo by David L. Walton

Canada Goose

Canada Goose
Photo by Marshall Faintich