This species is named for the rufous patch on the upper wing coverts.
Other names: Hen hawk, mouse hawk, red-bellied hawk, red- shouldered buzzard, winter hawk
Hunting habits: Hunts in denser woodlands than most other buteos (except broad-winged). Takes mice, voles, shrews, moles, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, muskrats, opossums, skunks, birds, snakes, lizards, turtles, toads, frogs, salamanders, grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, caterpillars, wasps, spiders, worms, and snails.
Nesting habits: Well-built, deep nest often decorated with sprigs of evergreens. Breeds in forested areas, especially wet woodlands and river bottoms.
Length: 38-47 cm
Wingspan: 94-107 cm
Weight: 460-930 grams
Life expectancy: One banded bird survived 19 years, 11 months.
Image Credits: Laura Erickson