Genesis Wildlife Residents

Red Tailed Hawks


Genesis currently has three full-time resident Red-tailed hawks.

Tanowha is our only male red-tailed hawk. He came from the Animal Hospital of Boone on 2/12/09. He is just now growing in his adult tail feathers, which are the tale-tell brick red that gives the Red-tailed hawks their name. He suffers from a permanent brain injury rendering him unable to hunt.

Moonstruck came to us on 3/10/03, at four years of age. She suffered from a gunshot wound to the wing rendering her unable to fly.

Mouse came from Raleigh on 8/19/09. She is twelve years old, and is blind in her left eye. She is fully flighted, and we hope to be able to flight train her for education programs to come!

Red-tailed hawks are also known as buteo jamaicensis and, of course, "chickenhawks". Pictured here are two males keeping their distance from the larger female.

A male Red-tailed Hawk may weigh 1.5 to 3 pounds and measure 18 to 22 inches tall. Females can weigh between 2 and 4.4 pounds and measure 20 to 26 inches tall. As is the case with many raptors the Red-tailed Hawk displays sexual dimorphism in size, as females are 25% larger than males. Their wingspan can be 3.5 to 4.75 feet.

Though the markings and hue vary, the basic appearance of the Red-tailed Hawk is consistent. The underbelly is lighter than the back and a dark brown band across the belly, formed by vertical streaks in feather patterning, is present in most color variations. The red tail, which gives this species its name, is uniformly brick-red above and pink below. The bill is short and dark, in the hooked shape characteristic of raptors. The cere (beak covering), legs and feet of the Red-tailed Hawk are all yellow.

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