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Red-tailed Hawk

Wherever you find an open meadow or a stretch of prairie, stop and look overhead and you will probably spot a red-tailed hawk gently circling in the breeze.

Red-tailed Hawk
Buteo jamaicensis

Red-tailed hawks are one of the most common hawks in Montana, and as you might have guessed, they are fairly easy to spot. Quiz question: what color is the tail of a red-tailed hawk? That's right, red. Okay, so the tail isn't always red; it can vary in color from a light pink-tan color to a deep red-brown. Red-tailed hawks are diligent hunters, feeding mainly on ground squirrels and rabbits. On summer afternoons when the rising air currents provide a lift, red-tailed hawks can soar almost motionless for hours.