The Red-tailed Hawk is the largest and probably the best known species of hawk in our region. It is also the most common in most areas.
The Red-tailed Hawk is a large bird measuring 18 to 25 inches in length with a wingspread of around 48 inches. It has broad rounded wings with a broad fanned tail. The tail, rust colored above and slightly duller below, is probably the best identification mark for mature adult birds. Immature red-tailed hawks do not molt into the rust-colored tail feathers until their second year. The breast of adult birds is primarily white, while the breast of an immature bird will have more streaking of brown. Both the adults and immature birds have a fairly prominent brownish belly band which can often be seen at a distance. Red-tailed Hawks are quite variable in overall coloration, with many different color variations ranging from light to dark.