A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife
Adults have brownish heads, reddish chests, and pale bellies with reddish bars. Their tails, which are quite long by Buteo standards, are marked with narrow white bars. Red "shoulders" are visible when the birds are perched. These hawks' upper parts are dark with pale spots and they have long yellow legs. Western birds may appear more red, while Florida birds are generally paler. The wings of adults are more heavily barred on the upper side.
Its breeding range spans eastern North America and along the coast of California and northern to northeastern-central Mexico. Red-shouldered hawks are permanent residents throughout most of their range, though northern birds do migrate, mostly to central Mexico.