Biome: Eastern Woodlands
Biography: Preferring to hunt the open lands, this diurnal bird of prey will soar over fields or perch patiently on nearby trees. Using its extraordinary eyesight, the hawk locates unsuspecting prey like field mice and rabbits. An adult red-tailed hawk has very distinctive field marks, with a wide, reddish colored upper tail, broad wings for soaring, and a dark belly band on a white chest. Like most raptors, the red-tail will mate for life, often returning annually to the same nesting area. The nest is usually located near a woodland edge, which provides cover for the nest, while keeping close access to preferred hunting grounds. One of the most common North American raptors, red-tailed hawks utilize a wide variety of habitats. Where trees are lacking, they may roost and nest on tall cacti, cliffs, and similar elevated sites throughout most of North and Central America, with the exception of the arctic tundra.