Beautiful red-tailed hawks can frequently be seen in Central Ohio but on this occasion this juvenile was seen searching for food at the former RCA facility here in Circleville, Ohio. While its nest or home is probably in the wooded area behind the facility you can usually find this particular raptor hanging around the warehouse picking up mice and other little creatures.
The red-tailed hawk, a species of hawk native to Ohio, most of the United States, Mexico and Canada, is usually found on farmlands and in open fields. They can, however, be found in semi-open habitats such as scrub deserts, (urban) parks, woodlands and in the instance of the photo below, at the former RCA building which used to manufacturer glass bulbs for color televisions.
Their territory size averages at just over two square miles, living on said territory year-round, perched upon elevated surfaces (poles, dead trees) surveying the area for potential prey. They’re also monogamous, having one mate at a time, perhaps for life, and reuse the nests from previous mating seasons rather than building a brand-new nesting spot. These nests are elevated rather far off the ground, commonly ranging from 13-69 feet from the ground, and 28-36 inches from edge-to-edge.
This species of hawk commonly preys upon small rodents (mice, voles), rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks. They’ll also feed upon medium-sized birds, certain reptiles and/or amphibians, as well as larger insects. They’ll occasionally feed off carrion (mostly road kill) if they’re desperate for food, but this is the exception, not the norm. Not only that, but they’ve also been blamed for the death of farm fowl in the early decades of the 20th century, and thus were hunted in en-masse. In recent years, however, their population has recovered significantly, likely due to their high adaptability, becoming a very common hawk species in the United States once again.
Main photo by edbo23, Secondary photo by Pickaway Cultivator
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