Red-shouldered Hawk

Scientific Name: Buteo lineatus

Pictures: (click for larger images)

Red-shouldered Hawk making a flight between tall trees in the Native Fragment (Northwest corner of campus), September 3rd, 2005.  Photo by Jason Finley.

I followed this guy all over the Native Fragment as he flew from one tall pine tree to another, looking for prey.  I guess this lucky shot shows why they're called red-shouldered!
Finally, he (she?) ended up at the Easton Softball Stadium, where a light pole made a good perch.

Notice the distinctive black and white stripes (almost checkered-looking).
This is a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk who showed up in the UCLA Botanical Garden!  Photo by Mark Brynildsen.

-Illustration by Robert C. Stebbins from "Birds of the Campus" (1947) by Dr. Loye Miller.

Description: Very large, but not as big as the more commonly seen Red-TAILED Hawk.  About 17" (or 1.5') in length (beak to tail) and about 40" (or 3.3') in wingspan.  These guys have a solid orange breast (the adults) with some white stripes/speckles toward the bottom, reddish-orange shoulder, and beautiful & distinctive black & white striped/checkered wings and tail.  The wings and tail are noticeable signs when you see one of these flying above.  The juveniles are similar but have a brown and white speckled breast.  The sexes look the same.

Sound: They're supposed to be pretty vocal.  Listen to a Red-shouldered Hawk's loud "kee-aah" call!  Link is to the sound page for this bird from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds.

Commonality/Seasonality: Rare, but year-round.

Location: Around the edges of campus.  This is a forest bird that likes to perch in tall trees (e.g., pines, eucalyptus), and zoom out when it sees prey.  The Native Fragment is an excellent place to look for these guys.  You might wait around a while and suddenly see one that was previously unnoiticed fly out of a tree.  The tall pines around the edges of the fragment and around the Easton Softball Stadium are good.  They've also been spotted in the eucalyptus trees along Charles E Young Drive just north of the intramural & soccer fields (hmm, perhaps looking for small birds foraging on the fields below?).  Finally, Bobby Walsh reports several sightings of a Red-shouldered Hawk along the northeast border of campus, on lampposts or in trees along the west side of Hilgard Ave. up on the north half of campus.


Notes: Its prey consist of small mammals, birds, reptiles.


Historical:   Dr. Loye Miller made no mention of this bird in his 1947 guide, Birds of the Campus.




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