Wildlife Wednesday... The Red-Tailed Hawk is a big bird, with a body that can reach just over two feet long and a wingspan of over four feet. An adult hawk weighs between one and a half pounds and a little more than three pounds.
Hawks belong to a group of birds called raptors. Other raptors include eagles, owls, falcons, and vultures. The Red-tailed hawk is a top predator. Red-tailed hawks use tall perches such as telephone poles or trees to spot their prey. They also hunt from the air. As they circle and soar, they can spot a mouse from 100 feet up in the air—about ten stories high.
When a Red-tailed hawk spots a rodent, rabbit, lizard, or other prey scurrying through roadside grasses or in a field, it swoops down and grabs its meal in its talons. Once the hawk grabs its prey, it usually flies back up to its perch to eat it. The red-tailed hawk has a strong beak, built to tear its food into pieces to swallow whole. Because their eyes are so big, the hawks cannot move them inside their sockets, and have to move their heads to see in different directions. Red-tailed hawks are important members of the ecosystems where they live. They help control populations of small mammals such as rabbits, as well as help farmers by keeping down the numbers of mice, moles, and other rodents that eat their crops. The oldest known wild Red-tailed hawk lived to be 21 years old. The oldest captive Red-tailed hawk lived to be 29 years old. On family drives keep a lookout for the Red-Tailed Hawk perched on tall telephone poles along the highways. #jtnpa #joshuatreenationalpark #joshuatreenps #nationalparks #redtailedhawk #birdsofprey #raptors #birdsinflight #birdsofinstagram #birdphotography #featherperfection #wildlife #wildlifephotography #nature #findyourpark #exploreresponsibly #optoutdoors #wildlifewednesday .