We have a lot of Red-tailed hawks here. There is one we know quite well, as he has only one eye.
We call him eyegone or oneeye. The reference books say that the red-tails eat small mammals and rodents but this one has his one eye on ducks. They can take prey as large as 5 pounds. They look big but the weight of the female can be just around 3 pounds. (Females are bigger than the males.)
The Red-tailed hawks have that raspy scream that you can hear on the t.v. a lot as the sound effects people seem to love to put that on every time you see a bird flying in circles high up. We also think perhaps we have had the Harlan's hawk here sometimes and that is just a dark form of the Red-tailed hawk. There are fourteen subspecies of Red-tails.
The oldest Red-tailed hawk was a banded and was found to be over 30 years old. Average life span is around twenty-one years. Mated pairs stay together usually for life. The first hawk of this kind was found in Jamaica. These hawks are often used for falconry.
Video below at very end is of Red-tailed Hawk with a duck. So don't watch it if you are squeamish. I stopped video before anything and we quickly left so he could finish by himself in private. He only has one eye but is still surviving. Of course I love ducks so I feel very sad for the duck. Sometimes it is hard to be part of, or to witness wildlife. It is a struggle for me to be hardened or uncaring about the struggle to live and I could not watch the ending so did not video. There probably was more video to follow but I could not take it.
I can't say that I completely accept watching something like that without any emotion. For me I have to learn when to photo something and when not to photo something in the wild as it will haunt me and I keep replaying it in my mind. I used to watch the eagle cams and I think this was when I realized how harsh life can be in the wild. I also videoed the owls we had nesting at a nearby building years ago and could not look at the videos for years as I don't think they lived. I was the child that fainted at the movie Bambi!
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