Red-tailed hawk

RTHA Fire 01- Hara

Buteo jamaicensis


A common hawk in the Bay Area, red-tailed hawks like to perch on tall trees or telephone poles near open fields to watch for their next meal. Expert hunters with keen eyesight, they will swoop down to catch a mouse, small bird, or snake.


We have two resident red-tailed hawks. Our female, Fire (named for her coloration and her feisty attitude), was found as a juvenile in Castro Valley. Other than being very thin, there was nothing physically wrong with her. Although our wildlife hospital made several attempts to release her to the wild, she never hunted on her own and approached people for food, indicating she is habituated to human care.


Rufous hatched in 2002 in Oregon. When only a year old, he collided with something and injured his left wing. He was treated at another animal hospital before arriving here in 2003.