Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Red-shouldered Hawk

Although the Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) family by the front door of the Audubon Center at the Francis Beidler Forest did not fare well, the Red-shouldered Hawks (Buteo lineatus) appear to have produced a bumper crop.

Articles in Sunday's The Post & Courier documented juvenile Red-shouldered Hawks in yards around the Lowcountry, while the image here shows one of two young hawks in my Summerville yard. Here at the Francis Beidler Forest, the calls of parents to young can be heard throughout the day.

The young are fed a diet of rodents, snakes, lizards, insects and occasionally snails. They hunt along forest edges and open woodland near fields and can tolerate human disturbance if the high canopy of the mature forest is maintain. We have plenty of suitable habitat here at the Francis Beidler Forest, but habitat loss across the Red-shouldered Hawk's range is its greatest threat.

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