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Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis

  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Polytypic: 14 subspecies
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  • © Chris JimĂ©nez

The Red-tailed Hawk is a well known North American species that also has resident populations and subspecies from Mexico south to Panama and in the Caribbean. The Red-tailed Hawk is highly polytypic with numerous distinctive subspecies throughout its range. In the Neotropics, five resident subspecies have been described and are all quite distinct. The Caribbean forms, including the nominate subspecies, are fairly pale, whereas the Central American subspecies are dark. Almost all subspecies show some red in the tail but this is variable with age and also with morph, with many populations having dark and pale morph individuals. The Red-tailed Hawk is a generalist and can be found in just about any open habitat within its range from alpine tundra, to desert, to temperate forest to tropical rainforest. It feeds mainly on mammals.

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© Leonard J. Peyton

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  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/rethaw