Q:

What do red tailed-hawks eat?

A:

Quick Answer

Red-tailed hawks eat a variety of animals, including rodents and other birds. The birds are also known to eat reptiles, although these make up a smaller part of their diet. The red-tailed hawks' large and powerful talons allow it to prey on relatively large animals.

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Full Answer

The red-tailed hawk is a carnivorous bird, which means they only eat meat. Most of the calories a red-tailed hawk consumes are from small rodents, such as mice. These make up around 85 percent of the hawk's diet and are essential for the bird's survival.

The red-tailed hawk is also known to eat larger mammals. The birds have been observed eating animals as large as rabbits, which require considerably more strength to attack than smaller rodents.

Other birds are also an important part of the red-tailed hawks' diet. The most commonly eaten bird is the red-winged blackbird. These birds guard their nests in open locations, making them easy prey for hawks and other predatory birds.

Red-tailed hawks do not store their food. This means that they need to hunt continuously in order to survive. The birds are known as perch hunters, which means that they search for prey while stationary on an object, such as a fence or tree.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do you identify hawks?

    A:

    Generally, a hawk is any small to medium accipitrid that is not an eagle. Hawks are birds of prey and can be identified by their predatory characteristics. This means that they have sharp talons and hooked beaks, and tend to circle overhead.

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  • Q:

    How long do hawks live?

    A:

    In captivity, hawks live an average of 30 years due to good nutrition and lack of environmental dangers. Hawks in the wild can life to reach their 20s, but a majority die within the first year.

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  • Q:

    What eats hawks?

    A:

    The red-tailed hawk, which is the most typical hawk in the U.S., has only a handful of predators, including the red fox, the raccoon and the great-horned owl. Hawks are known as raptors or birds of prey, and are typically the predator instead of the prey.

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  • Q:

    Are hawks carnivores, herbivores or omnivores?

    A:

    Hawks are omnivores, and they have very opportunistic eating habits. What a hawk eats is generally determined by the hawk's native habitat, the species of the hawk and the availability of food, but in general, a hawk will eat nearly anything.

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