Red-shouldered hawk

Buteo lineatus

NH Conservation Status: Not listed

Federal Status: Not listed; Red-shouldered hawks are legally protected in New Hampshire. Possession and take (which includes harming, harassing, injuring and killing) is illegal.

Distribution: Breeds throughout New Hampshire although uncommon. Rare winter visitor. May be seen during April, early May and October during spring and fall migrations.

Description: 17-24” long with a 37-43” wingspan. Both males and females have heavy dark bands on both sides of the short, wide tail; rufous shoulders; and dense rusty/orange barring underneath.

Voice: A loud, two part call, “kee-aaah” with the second part descending.

Commonly Confused Species: Red-tailed hawks are much larger in size. Broad-winged hawks have more pointed wings and shorter, broader tails and slower wingbeats when in flight.

Habitat: Mature forests bordering wetlands, rivers, marshes, beaver ponds and near openings such as fields.

Nesting: Red-shouldered hawks begin reproducing at one year of age. Nests are built in large treesin April - June, often near the trunk and at the bottom of the canopy. Pairs may mate for life. They typically nest once per year and often reuse the same nest each year. Females lay 3-4 eggs which hatch after 28 days of incubation. Chicks are able to fly when they are between 35-42 days old.

Diet: Amphibians, reptiles, crustaceans, insects, small birds and mammals.