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Flying right above me this red tailed hawk, Buteo jamaicensis, knocks snow off the branches as he does a flyby. A perfect day for raptor watching and photography, blue sky, very cold and the raptors are out looking for food. This elegant red tail watched me from another tree as I moved into position for a posed shot. Then he took off coming right toward me, exposing himself to the lens.
The red tailed hawk is the most common hawk in North America. They are found in Mexico, Canada and the United States. Their habit is variable; woods with near by open lands, also found in the plains, praire, groves and deserts. Rodents are their most common food source.
Fully grown they have wingspan of about 50 inches and a length of about 22 inches. The wings are broad and fairly rounded and their plumage is extremely variable. The tail is more reddish on the upper side, while the underside is paler.