FLIP – RED-SHOULDERED HAWK
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Hatch Year: 2009
Arrival to WBS: 2009
Reason for Residence: permanent feather damage
Flip came into our wildlife hospital with a fracture to his left wing. The break was stabilized, and healed over time; however, it quickly became clear that this break had done damage to some of the follicles from which his primary flight feathers grow. This damage caused these feathers to be well…flipped, and grow in upside down. This situation has made Flip unable to fly and therefore unreleasable.
For several years Flip was an educational ambassador and would travel to programs and displays, but he proved to be just a bit too high energy to want to simply sit on the glove or on a perch. He much preferred to hop around his house. He was retired from the glove and now spends his days in his public enclosure where he can be heard chatting away at various guests and wild birds.
SPECIES: RED-SHOULDERED HAWK
CONSERVATION STATUS: LEAST CONCERN
Red-shouldered Hawk populations increased throughout most of their range between 1966 and 2015, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 1.1 million with 97% spending some part of the year in the U.S., 17% in Mexico, and 1% breeding in Canada.
Scientific Name: Buteo lineatus
Description: medium-large bird of prey; plumage predominantly brown with a high degree of speckling, with a wide variation in plumage patterns including light and dark morphs and color variations between males, females and juveniles; all plumages include long white tail feathers with one or more dark subterminal bands; wing tips are long enough to reach or extnd past the tail when perched; feet are feathered to the toes (hence the name); talons are relatively small; a broad brown chestband is present in most plumages with a square dark carpal patch contrasting with the white under-wing in light morph individuals
Sex: females slightly larger than males
Age: oldest known 22 years and 5 months in the wild
Length: male 15″-23″; female 19″-24″
Weight: 1-2.1 lbs
Habitat: primarily forest raptors; tend to live in stands of trees with an open subcanopy; sometimes found in suburban areas with large trees
Range: An eastern population ranges west through southern Canada from southern New Brunswick and Ontario to the eastern edge of the U.S. Great Plains, south to Florida, the Gulf Coast, and eastern Mexico. Only northernmost populations are migratory. A western population breeds west of the Sierra Nevada from northern California to northern Baja California, and has recently expanded into Oregon and Arizona, and east of the Sierra Mountains in California. Eastern populations winter from southern Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Ohio and southern New England south to the Gulf Coast, occasionally throughout breeding range. In winter, they are reported south to Jalisco and Veracruz, Mexico. Western populations are largely nonmigratory. Throughout its winter range, this species avoids higher elevations.
Eastern birds occasionally wander west (e.g., Colorado, Kansas, West Texas, Manitoba, North Dakota) in migration; western birds have strayed east to Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, and Utah, and north to Washington
Behavior: when mating the male does a “sky dance” in which he soars while calling, then makes a series of steep dives toward the female, climbing back up in wide spirals after each descent, before finally rapidly diving to perch upon her back; both birds build a stick nest about 2 ft. in diameter lined with bark, moss & lichens; female lays 2-5 dull white or bluish eggs with brown blotches and markings; eggs hatch in 32-40 days; young hawks fledge about 45 days later; parents continue to feed young until they are about 17-19 weeks old
Diet: small mammals such as mice and voles; reptiles, amphibians, birds and insects
Vocalization: distinctive, screaming kee-aah while establishing territories
– Birds in central and southern states are non-migratory; birds of the Northeast and northern Midwest migrate to more southerly states for the winter; West Coast birds mostly nonmigratory.
– Red-shouldered Hawks have been known to join forces with Crows to attack and drive away Great horned Owls — a mutual predator.