Field identification tips: A medium-sized raptor, the Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) has broad soaring wings and a stocky body. Adult B. lineatus has ruddy-brown underparts with fine barring, bold black-and-white checkering on the wings' flight feathers and a tail with broad dark bands separated by slender white bands. Sexes are similar with females averaging larger than males. Florida birds have a lighter-colored head and breast. Immature B. linetus has a brown barred breast where the adult has ruddy-brown fine bars, and less distinct brown-and-white bands on the tail & wings. Overhead this species has a longer tail than other Buteos and translucsent crescents near the wingtips. Ruddy-brown shoulders give this species its name. Its call is repetetive kee-ah kee-ah kee-ah kee-ah.
Typical range: B. lineatus can be found in the forested eastern states with some seasonal movement into southern Canada and northern Mexico. A separate population is resident in California's central valley and along the Pacific coast from southern Oregon south to Baja California.
Habitat: Unlike other Buteo species, B. lineatus is at home is deciduous forests, often near swamps and rivers where it hunts for reptiles and small mammals.