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The Red-shouldered Hawk - One Gorgeous Bird of Prey

There's no mistaking this striking hawk for any other!

Sharp, insistent cries signal the presence of one of North America’s most beautiful birds of prey: the Red-shouldered Hawk. There’s no mistaking this striking hawk for any other; the front of its body glows bright chestnut, the back boldly spangled black and white, the shoulders, that same blazing chestnut. Roughly crow-sized, Red-shouldered Hawks are found throughout the eastern U.S., retreating from the north in winter. Distinctive populations inhabit Florida and California west of the Sierra Nevada.
Support for BirdNote comes from American Bird Conservancy and Bringing Back the Birds, a photo book by Owen Deutsch on the importance of protecting birdscapes. Available at Amazon.com.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®  

The Red-shouldered Hawk - One Gorgeous Bird of Prey

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.

[Repeated calls of Red-shouldered Hawk LNS# 136261]

That sharp, insistent cry is the call of a Red-shouldered Hawk.

[Calls of Red-shouldered Hawk]

This rather secretive raptor can be hard to spot, perching in a stand of trees along a riverside.

But once you see it, there’s no mistaking this striking hawk for any other.

[Red-shouldered Hawk + river flowing, gently]

The front of its body and its shoulders are a glowing bright chestnut, and its back is boldly patterned in black and white.

Red-shouldered Hawks can be found throughout much of the eastern United States, as well as in California west of the Sierra Nevadas. Red-shoulders are versatile hunters and will eat chipmunks, voles, snakes, frogs, and even crawfish. They hunt by diving on prey in the forest, swooping low across an open field, or even snatching a frog or a snake right from the water’s surface.

So when you’re in the right neck of the woods, keep an ear out for an emphatic cry …

[Repeated calls of Red-shouldered Hawk LNS# 136261]

… and keep your eyes peeled for a gorgeous Red-shouldered Hawk.

For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.

Support for BirdNote comes from American Bird Conservancy and Bringing Back the Birds, a photo book by Owen Deutsch on the importance of protecting birdscapes. Available at Amazon.com.

###
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Sallie Bodie
Editor: Ashley Ahearn
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
Assistant Producer: Mark Bramhill
Narrator: Michael Stein
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Calls of Red-shouldered Hawk [136261] recorded by M. Fischer.
Wind with gentle river [from Aspen1] recorded by Gordon Hempton of QuietPlanet.com
NE forest ambient recorded by C. Peterson, Hog Island, Maine.
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2019 BirdNote   November  2013 / 2019

ID#  RSHA-01-2013-11-19    RSHA-01b

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