Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) DDZ_0051
The most common and widespread hawk in North America, the Red-tailed Hawk is a bird of open country. The Red-tailed Hawk is carnivorous, and an opportunistic feeder. Its diet is mainly small mammals, but it also includes birds and reptiles. Prey varies with regional and seasonal availability, but usually centers on small rodents. Additional prey include rabbits, snakes, waterfowl, bats, shrews, crustaceans, insects, rodents, and fish. The Red-tailed Hawk hunts primarily from an elevated perch site, swooping down from a perch to seize prey, catching birds while flying, or pursuing prey on the ground from a low flight. The species is abundant year round at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, where it commonly preys on voles in open grassland.