Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Red-tailed Hawk (Krider's)

Buteo jamaicensis kriderii


I spotted this hawk guarding its prey, an Opossum on highway 100 between Jefferson City and Hermann, MO. Didn't see whether or not the bird capitalized on a roadkill opportunity or captured it.

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID


Sachin Zaveri
Sachin Zaveri 9 years ago

Spectacular series,

maxmaheu69 9 years ago

Great shot! unfortunate for the little guy :( natures call!

EmilyMarino 9 years ago

Wow, amazing capture! (Both the photos and the opossum!) The last picture almost makes him look like a light juvi Swainson's Hawk, but Kriders hawk was my first thought too. About a year ago I photographed what I think is a Krider's too.

Either way, you you captured something special, what a beautiful bird!

MatthewKritzer 9 years ago

Nice series...

Nayeli 9 years ago

Great moment capture. Nice spotting

KareenKing 9 years ago

Thank you, Liam, for looking into this for me. I've made the edits!

Liam 9 years ago

The experts agree - this is an immature Krider's Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis kriderii).

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 9 years ago

Great spotting!

KareenKing 9 years ago

Thank you, everyone for your informative input. I came upon this beautiful bird before seeing how he came upon his "prey." I did see him try to lift it a couple feet from the center of the road. And, he was definitely not budging from the opossum. Fortunately for him, there was not much traffic along the way. I doubt the opossum was hit by a vehicle because he appears pretty intact. I suspect the hawk went after him.

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 9 years ago

Thank you, Christy. I asked because I know that many opossums die hit by cars, and that seemed a good possibility.

ChristyHolland 9 years ago

Actually, they are very opportunistic and definitely will eat roadkill. It's an easy meal for them! Liam, you've corrected my guess again!! Just when I think I've got it... ;-)

KimChampagne 9 years ago

I don't think they eat road kill.....I think he killed it and was to heavy to carry off....ijs I love the pics

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 9 years ago

In your opinion, Kareen, did the hawk kill the opossum, or is it just enjoying an opportunistic catch? Do hawks feed on dead animals?

Liam 9 years ago

Immature Red-tailed Hawk (adults have dark eyes), Buteo jamaicensis. Subspecies is hard to determine, but you are within range for the rare Krider's Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis kriderii). Very very pale individual here. Sibley's states (Krider's) "Underparts white with faint or no belly-band, tail whitish, much white on upperparts, often white-headed."
This individual could be a B.j. borealis, but considering how pale it is, you have a nice candidate for Krider's. If you don't mind, I'll run it through a few friends for extra opinions.

harsuame 9 years ago

Grandioso buena captura ::

johnhavens1900 9 years ago

Happened to me once

ChristyHolland 9 years ago

Ha!! He's not letting that meal go!! Great series!! I do know it's not a Red-Tailed hawk, and I think it's a buteo, not an accipiter, but I don't know for sure!! Fantastic!! I'd love you to add this to the mission Raptors of North America:

I have removed several dead animals from the road and placed them aside, in a safe distance, so that birds of pray won't be killed too...There is a large team of people in Greece doing this, and I am doing the same here in NZ...Hawks don't lose their pray, you just scare them away, you remove the dead animal from the road, and after you go, birds return...

Spotted by

Hermann, Missouri, USA

Spotted on Oct 8, 2012
Submitted on Oct 11, 2012

Related Spottings

Buzzard Buteo buteo 普通鵟 Buzzard Common buzzard

Nearby Spottings

Red-Tailed Hawk Cuckoo Wasp Unnamed spotting Spotting
Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team