There are five subspecies of red-shouldered hawks (Buteo lineatus) – four Eastern and one West Coast form. These forest raptors are found in the eastern United States, southeastern Canada and the nrtheastern portion of Mexico. The western populations inhabit portions of California, Oregon and Washington. Northern birds migrate to southern states and Mexico during the cold months while southern residents are nonmigratory.
Adult red-shouldered hawks have reddish barring on their breasts and wings checked with white and dark brown. The California subspecies has orange-red plumage on the head and underparts and a red patch on the shoulders. The tail is black with narrow white bands. In flight the tail fans out and white patches are visible near the wing tips. Female red-shouldered hawks are larger than males.
Hunting from perches, red-shouldered hawks take small mammals, lizards, snakes, toads, crayfish, amphibians and occasionally other small birds.
This red-shouldered hawk was photographed along Hat Creek near Baum Lake CA.
My thanks to Ken for identifying the red-shouldered hawk.