IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)


Read full entry

Adult red-tailed hawks make what is called a horse scream, "kee-eeee-arrr." It is often described as sounding like a steam whistle. The length and pitch of this call varies with the age, gender, and geographic region of the individual red-tailed hawk.

Young red-tailed hawks communicate with their parents by making soft, low "peep"-ing sounds. As they get older, they sounds they make deepen in tone, and are usually sounds of hunger.

Red-tailed hawks also communicate through body language. In an aggressive posture, the body and head of the  red-tailed hawk are held upright and its feathers are standing up. In submission, the hawk's head is lower to the ground and the feathers are smooth. Red-tailed hawks also display many aerial behaviors. In the talon-drop, during courtship, they swoop down trying to touch one another with their talons. Undulating-flight is an up and down movement that is mainly used in territorial display. Finally, in the dive-display the bird performs a steep dive. This is also a territorial display.

Red-tailed hawks have extraordinarily keen vision, which allows them to detect prey movements at great distances.

Communication Channels: visual ; acoustic

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web


EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!