More info: The red shouldered hawk is a medium-sized hawk. It occurs throughout much of the eastern United States and south eastern Canada, as well as in Oregon, California, and Mexico. Due to forest fragmentation, red tailed hawks have replaced red shouldered hawks in many parts of eastern North America. Loss of large forests also fostered more frequent competition with, and predation by, great horned owls. The red shouldered hawk is a permanent resident throughout most of its range, though northern birds do migrate, mostly to central Mexico.
Red shouldered hawks feed on many types of prey including amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Crayfish serve as an important food source, particularly in the south eastern United States. In much of eastern North America, eastern chipmunks and meadow voles are the main prey. Although these birds sometimes hunt on the wing, red shouldered hawks are mainly perch-hunters. When hunting for prey in open areas, red shouldered hawks sometimes hunt from a low, coursing flight, similar to a harrier.
The red shouldered hawk nest is usually placed below the canopy in a main fork of a tall, mature, deciduous tree close to water. Both the male and female construct the nest of sticks and line it with twigs or leaves or they will re-furbish an old nest..