The red-shouldered hawk is brown-black with extensive spotting and rusty-red shoulder patches that are not always conspicuous. Under parts from his throat to his tail are barred with brown, red and white, and his tail is banded in black and white. He lives in areas of wooded river bottoms, along streams, and in moist mixed woodland with low-land wet places.
Red-shouldered hawks eat mice, shrews, moles, tree squirrels, chipmunks, and an occasional bird or reptile.
Red-shouldered hawks are residents in California west of the high Sierra Nevadas. They often nest close to a tree trunk. The nests are well built of twigs and sticks; lined with strips of bark, leaves, mosses, feathers, and sprigs of evergreen. The outside diameter is 18 – 24”. Mated pairs have a strong attachment to their nesting territory. They sometimes join forces with crows to drive larger predators, like great horned owl, out of their territory.
They lay 3 to 4 eggs per year and both male and female parents will incubate the eggs for 28 days.