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Thread started 23 Dec 2010 (Thursday) 10:48
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Hawk : Red-Tailed or Red-Shouldered?

 
bettyn
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Dec 24, 2010 19:31 |  #16

Yeah. Red Shouldered. We have a lot of them around here. Nice shot.
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horse51
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Dec 24, 2010 20:16 |  #17

Excellent shot and great eye detail
Hope to get one soon !!
Nice work


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DreDaze
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Dec 24, 2010 21:01 |  #18

the florida red-shouldered always look so interesting to me with the lighter head...usually i look at the "checker-board" wing pattern to determine if it's a red-shouldered...checkerbo​ard wings, rusty chest...

nice shots


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horse51
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Dec 26, 2010 18:45 |  #19

great shot !


Alan "horse51" Barbor
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shelby68gt500
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Feb 01, 2014 08:23 |  #20

I too have a hard time distinguishing between a red-shouldered and red-tailed. I shot this guy in my neighbors tree about a year ago using my canon 400mm. I was told it was a juvenile red shouldered.


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Evan
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Feb 01, 2014 16:53 |  #21

When Red-shouldered Hawks are relaxed, they will have a very upright posture. Where as a Red-tailed Hawk will look like it is slouching. Size difference is also a very noticable trait, though hard to distinguish to an inexperienced birder. A Red-tailed Hawk seems bulky, where as a Red-shouldered will look much more like an accipter ( i.e. Cooper's Hawk or Sharp-shinned). An immature Red-shouldered Hawk will have a very large, black band at the end of the tail, with the other black and brown bands being even in size. On a Red-tailed Hawk, the black bands are very thin, and there is an absence of the one large black band at the end of the tail. The bands are not uniform in thickness, with the brown bands being significantly thicker than the black ones.

On a Red-shouldered Hawk, beak size seems too small for its head, which also creates the allusion that the eyes are also big for its head.

One of the best ways to tell the difference, is where the bird is located in a tree. Red-shouldered Hawks like thick trees, where they will perch very close to the trunk underneith branches. You will hardly ever see a Red-tailed Hawk inside the outline of the tree, they typically prefer to sit on the outer third of the tree's branches, or towards the top of a tree. Red-tailed Hawks will also prefer taller perches than a Red-shouldered, though of course there is overlap.

In flight when moving from one perch to another, a Red-shouldered will have a much quicker wing beat compared to a Red-tailed, and they will stay closer to the ground than a Red-tailed (around 4-8 feet). Just like perch height, this isn't always the case, but they do typically fly lower than a Red-tailed.


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shelby68gt500
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Feb 01, 2014 17:08 |  #22

Evan, thx for the education on the differences. Based on your description, I do believe that the one in my picture above is a red-shouldered hawk. All very interesting information!




  
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Hawk : Red-Tailed or Red-Shouldered?
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