I’m not good at identifying the different types of Hawks we have in this area, so I checked with a birder friend. I was informed that this is a young Red-tailed Hawk.

Young Red-tailed Hawk Stretching Wing

Young Red-tailed Hawk Stretching Wing

This is what I was told and also what I read about young Red-tailed Hawks.

General Characteristics

Young Red-tailed Hawks are typically paler than their adult counterparts. They have a slightly paler head and a darker back, and their wing-feathered edges are paler. Their tails are also light brownish above with several dark brown bars, but these may vary in width.

Eye Color

The eyes of young Red-tailed Hawks are blue or gray. As the bird gets older, its iris gradually turns brown, which is the adult eye color in all races. This change occurs over the course of four years.


Young Red-tailed Hawks are found in a variety of habitats, including open fields, woodlands, and mountains. They are often seen perched on fence posts, telephone poles, or dead trees.


Young Red-tailed Hawks eat a variety of small mammals, such as rabbits, mice, and squirrels. They also eat birds, reptiles, and amphibians.


Young Red-tailed Hawks are often seen soaring high in the sky. They will also fly low over fields and woodlands, looking for prey. When they spot prey, they will swoop down and capture it in their talons.


Young Red-tailed Hawks typically start to breed when they are two years old. They build their nests in tall trees, often near water. The female lays two to four eggs, which hatch after about 35 days. The young birds fledge from the nest after about seven weeks.


Young Red-tailed Hawks are fascinating creatures. They are beautiful birds with unique characteristics. I was lucky to get a chance to see this young hawk, and I’m glad I was able to share its story with you.

Gear Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R5
  • Lens: Canon EF 800 mm f/11


  • Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
  • Date Taken: July 15, 2021 (7:17 A.M.)
  • Aperture: f11
  • Shutter speed: 1/400
  • ISO: 5000 (Auto)
  • Exposure Mode: Manual
  • Exposure Compensation: 0
  • Focal Length: 800 mm

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