Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)

Echo was brought to the Medina Raptor Center in June 2014 after he was found on the ground, abandoned as a newly fledged bird. It was suspected that his nest had been attacked by a Great Horned Owl that chased away the parents and killed the other chicks. He had suffered a severe nail injury to the hallux of the left foot, which required its removal. Because this would impact his ability to properly hold on to any prey, he became an educational ambassador to the Center.


About Red-shouldered Hawks

(Information taken from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

It is one of the most recognizable hawks in North America, with the ruddy-reddish chest and distinctively banded tail.


  • Medium-sized hawk
  • Warm reddish barring on the chest
  • Brown and white checkering on the wings
  • Narrow, pale crescents on wingtips in flight
  • Long yellow legs
  • Size: 43 – 61 cm (17 – 24 in)
  • Wingspan: 94 – 111 cm (37 – 44 in)
  • Weight: 486 – 777 g (17 – 23 oz)

Sex Differences

  • Sexes are alike in plumage, the female is larger


  • Brown above with white belly and brown streaking
  • Pale facial markings, typically with a white eyebrow


  • Small mammals, lizards, snakes and amphibians. Will occasionally hunt birds such as sparrows, starlings and doves.


  • Resident to medium-distance migrants
  • Birds on the west coast are non-migratory
Summer Range: 
  • Birds in northeast North America from New York to Maine and across the northern border of the Midwest United States.
Winter Range:
  • Central Mexico


  • Prefer hardwood forests, lowland deciduous swamps and upland mixed forests. They have adapted to urbanization and will hunt in suburban areas near woodlands.


  • Hunt their prey by perching near a wooded body of water and wait for their prey to run beneath them.


Nest Type:
  • Stick nests about two feet in diameter lined with bark, moss and lichen. Will continue to add fresh leaves throughout nesting season and may use the same nest from the prior year.
Egg Description:
  • Dull white to faint blue with brown markings
Clutch Size:
  • 2-5 eggs with one brood a year
Condition at Hatching:
  • Altricial, covered in down, with a thicker layer of down growing in after hatching.

Conservation Status

  • Populations are increasing throughout most of their range. However, continued clearing of woodlands will have an impact on their nesting and hunting ranges.


  • Rising kee-rah while soaring overhead.