Red-tailed Hawk flying

Visit Valparaiso, IN, the Vale of Paradise, to take on the Birds of Paradise sculpture scavenger hunt beginning in 2022. Visit Valparaiso to hunt down the clues needed to find all 10 native birds species throughout downtown.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk by Ryan Sanderson

The most common hawk in North America, and certainly Indiana, is the Red-tailed Hawk. This raptor species can often be seen perched on fence or telephone posts, looking intently at the ground for their next meal. They are mainly found in open fields and are sometimes on the outskirts of towns.

Their diet consists mainly of small mammals, such as voles and mice. When you see them perched high on a post, they’re waiting patiently for a rodent to run through the grass. If you’re lucky, you may see them swoop down and make a kill with their incredibly sharp talons. When they’re not hunting, you’ll often sear them riding the thermals in the sky and soaring high above.

The Red-tailed Hawk is aptly named for it’s rust-colored red tail. There are many different color variations with this species, but take a look at the tail for a sure giveaway!

Cover Photo: Red-tailed Hawk from underneath by Shari McCollough

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