Carnivorous. These birds eat rodents, especially mice, shrews and voles, as well as other small mammals such as snowshoe hares. They are opportunistic feeders and can also prey on birds, reptiles and amphibians.


In the wild, up to 16 years; in captivity for as long as 29 years.


The female lays two creamy-white eggs that are quite heavily spotted with brown. Incubation lasts 30 to 34 days and is generally the domain of the female, though she can occasionally allow the male to take over. The chicks stay in the nest between 45 and 46 days and continue to depend on the adults for about 12 to 15 weeks.


Due to its size, the red-tailed hawk has rather few enemies. Preying is mainly done on their eggs and nestlings. The great horned owl is one of this species’ known enemies; crow will also attack nestlings and eggs.

FAQ : What is the wingspan of large birds of prey ?

The wingspan is measured from tip to tip when wings are fully spread out. A bald eagle or golden eagle for example can have a 2-metre wingspan, while the wingspan of a red-tailed hawk, a common species in Quebec, would be 1.25 metres.

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