Red Rock Canyon A to Z

H: Hawks

Commonly spotted in the sky at Red Rock Canyon, hawks (Family Accipitridae) make for a splendid wildlife-viewing encounter. Red Rock Canyon is home to at least seven different hawk species. Red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) and Cooper’s hawks (Accipiter cooperii) are the two most commonly spotted hawks. Look for these large birds of prey either flying high in the sky or perched along cliff faces or tall pines. If you are lucky, you can catch courtship dances in the sky during the spring as the male hawk and the female hawk will lock talons and repeatedly fly & fall together. Rodents, songbirds, and other small mammals tend to make up a hawk’s diet with the occasional lizard or small snake mixed in. These predators use their sharp vision and high intelligence to chase down meals.

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