English Name Red-shouldered Hawk
Scientific Name Buteo lineatus
German Name Rotschulterbussard
Spanish Name Busardo Hombrorrojo
French Name Buse à épaulettes
Red-shouldered Hawk
Peters Family Name ACCIPITRIDAE(Acciptrinae):Hawks,Eagles Order 595.0
Sibley Monroe Family Name ACCIPITRIDAE(Accipitrinae):Hawks,Eagles Order 3521.0
Gill Family Name ACCIPITRIDAE:Hawks,Eagles and Kites Order 751.0
New 2013 Family Name ACCIPITRIDAE,Buteoninae:Buteos and Allies Order 617.0
English Synonyms
>Note:Coryornis includes B.ridgwayi and B.lineatus.
Authority (J.F.Gmelin 1788)
Habitat deciduous woodland,swamps,forest,edge
Breeding "Laying mainly Apr-May in Canada;Feb-Jun in California;Jan-Hune in Texas and Florida." (HBW,2,p.179)
Nature Of Migration In The Species
Generally migrates only from northern half of range; magnitude of migration probably a response to changes in prey availability, but this needs study. Evidence of chain migration -- birds banded in Wisconsin migrated to other regions of Wisconsin and the 8 states directly south of Wisconsin for winter, and most did not travel far; 24 recoveries, all during fall and winter: October-February: 8 in Wisconsin, 6 in Illinois, 2 in Indiana, 3 in Arkansas, 1 in Kentucky, 1 in Tennessee, 1 in Missouri, 1 in Mississippi, 1 in Alabama. Western subspecies mostly non-migratory, although regular movements are reported in central California.
Timing And The Routes Of Migration
Juveniles move south September through December; adults October into December. Fall migration peaks late October-early November in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Wisconsin, and probably other northern states. Migration of western populations slightly earlier, from early September to mid-October, peak in early October in California. Migrates along inland ridges and more abundantly along shorelines (e.g. Great Lakes and Atlantic coast). Observed migrating along river corridors in Iowa between Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Only adults seen migrating in Tennessee; mostly adults at Hawk Mountain and Bake Oven Knob, Pennsylvania. Autumn migration noted as far south as Louisiana, Florida, Texas, and Veracruz, Mexico. Spring migration peaks late February through early April over much of northern range (e.g., Braddock Bay, New York, 15 Mar-4 Apr; Sandy Hook, New Jersey, 4 Apr).
Migratory Behavior
A middle-distance partial migrant, traveling 300-1,500 km. In fall in Wisconsin, most migration 09:00-12:00 h. Migrants usually fly alone but may form small, loose flocks (3+ individuals); will cross small water barriers (< 25 km, Kerlinger 1989), but generally try to avoid crossing water by tacking into wind to stay over land. Flight heights in autumn range from 850 to 1,070 m in New England, 749 ± 276 m at Berne, NY; 2 individuals observed in spring flew at heights of 500 and 1,300 m. At one site, where traveling along ridges, 40-62% of birds soared, whereas remainder used intermittent gliding or powered flight. At another site in autumn, among ridge-flying birds, 62% used flapping alone, 25% glided more than flapped, and 13% used gliding alone, but none used flapping predominantly over gliding. Nineteen of 29 birds crossing Lehigh Gap (in southwest-northeast-facing ridge in central Appalachians of e. Pennsylvania) crossed in a straight line flight to southwest in slowly descending glides; other flights were southward or northward across gap; several birds left ridge all together heading south.
Species common along coastlines (Atlantic, Great Lakes) in fall and spring. Spring movements strongest with southeast wind. Avoid flying over large expanses of water; instead fly along water barrier until able to turn north again..
Thanks to Dykstra, Cheryl R., Jeffrey L. Hays and Scott T. Crocoll. 2008. Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.) species no.107.