Red-Shouldered Hawk

Buteo lineatus
Range Map

The Red-Shouldered Hawk is largely a resident of the eastern USA. However, there is a separate population that lives year round in California’s Coast Range and into Baja California.

American Crows and Red-Shouldered Hawks are often adversaries, often harassing one another and attempting to steal each other’s food. However, these two species will join forces and attack a common enemy, such as the Great Horned Owl, and drive it from their territory.

Today, science recognises five subspecies of Red-Shouldered Hawk:

  • B. l. lineatus lives in eastern and the midwestern USA and southeastern Canada.
  • B. l. texanus lives in eastern Texas.
  • B. l. alleni  lives in North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Oklahoma south to Louisiana, eastern Texas, and northern Florida.
  • B. l. extimus lives in southern Florida.
  • B. l. elegans lives in California and southern Oregon west of the Cascade mountains, and northwestern Mexico.

When I’m at my southern California home, I enjoy the company of these hawks. It’s a tossup whether the Cooper’s or the Red-Shouldered Hawks are most common there, but the very vocal Red-Shouldered Hawk is more noticeable because they seldom shut up. I suspect both nest either on my property, or in nearby trees just off my property.

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