These beautiful birds are North America's most common hawks. They are found all over the continent, in Central America, and in the West Indies. The first of these hawks to be scientifically studied was found in Jamaica.
Red-tailed hawks are known for their brick-coloured tails, but there are 14 subspecies of various colourations, and not all of them have this characteristic.
Average life span in the wild: 21 years
Size: Body, 18 to 26 in (45 to 65 cm); wingspan, 38 to 43 in (1.1 to 1.3 m)
Weight: 24.3 to 51.5 oz (690 to 1,460 g)
Did you know? The red-tailed hawk is displaying an aggressive posture when it holds its body and head upright while its feathers are standing erect.
Never miss a Nat Geo moment
Join our curious community and you'll have access to some great features!
Personalised content reflecting your interests on the site
Watch exclusive videos before anyone else
Favourite content that you like or want to check out later
Free SMS and Email reminders so you never miss a show
Get notified when content that interests you is published
Share your photos on Snap! that could appear on TV
Share your thoughts and opinions on various matters
Receive a monthly newsletter with loads of great content