I was driving down old Rt.66 in northern Arizona on a warm and sunny day last week. Not quite Spring, by spring-like. The sides of the roads were filled with water, snow melt creating make-shift lakes. At each “lake” I saw many Canada Geese, along with Western Bluebirds flying from wires to dried, dead mullein in the fields. Spotted a Red-Tailed Hawk on one of the poles, a Rufous morph adult, watching at me as I stopped to look. She took off and soared. I drove forward. About four poles down, I spotted another Red-tailed Hawk, smaller, adult lighter Southwestern sub-species. The darker one flew over and landed on top of the pole with the lighter one. They hung out for a couple of minutes, then both flew off, the smaller one landed on top of a Ponderosa Pine nearby and the larger on another pole down the road. Eventually, together, they both flew away from me.


I assume since they were both adults and breeding season is upon them, they were a pair, or soon to be. Red-tailed Hawks are monogamous and will mate for years, they will also defend a nesting territory for years. They have stick nests in large and tall trees, making a clutch of one to three eggs. There are 14 sub-species of Red-tailed Hawks, with various plumage and found in a wide range of habitats. They display sexual dimorphism, which means the two sexes of a same species have different characteristics including sexual organs, color, markings, size, and at times, behavior. Females tend to be larger, average 25% larger.

Read more about the RTH here: RED-TAILED HAWK


  1. I spent many years in red-tailed hawk territory (Alberta parkland/prairie) but since moving closer to the mountains and forested areas I don’t see them nearly as often.Nice to see them here. 🙂

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