Red-tailed Hawks usually begin breeding when they are three years old. They are monogamous, and mate with the same individual for many years. In fact, red-tailed hawks usually only change mates when their original mate dies.
The hawks quiet down after the female lays her eggs in a nest built high up in the crook of a tree. Both members build the nest, or simply refurbish one of the nests they’ve used in previous years. Nests are tall piles of dry sticks up to 6.5 feet high and 3 feet across.
Once leaves emerge, the hawks are much harder to see, as they spend their time silently perched in the tree canopy, watching for small rodents, such as squirrels, chipmunks, mice and voles. They may also feed on amphibians, reptiles and an occasional starling or mourning dove snatched from a bird feeder.
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