You’ve heard them in scores of movies and TV shows. But what you see is often not the same as what you hear.
Red-tailed hawks have a raspy scream that calls out for attention. Often their sound is chosen for eagles, other hawks, or heard in the background of scary movies. Eagles have a softer, higher sound, so Hollywood editors tend to choose the stronger call of the Red-tailed hawk as their go-to-voice for eagles. As a result of this creative license, many people have the wrong impression of exactly what bald eagles sound like. You can hear the calls of red-tails and bald eagles in the media gallery below.
Watch and listen for red-tailed hawks soaring over open fields and perching on poles as they seek out their prey. You may also spot them during courting, tumbling together in pairs in the sky.
Special thanks to Mike Blair Outdoors for the red-tailed hawk footage in the video below.