Red Tailed Hawk – Skye

Name: Skye – Female

Species: Red-Tailed Hawk

Liberty Arrival: 2011/adult

Injury/Condition: Imprint

Skye was transferred from a Washington state facility to Liberty Wildlife in 2011.  According to the transfer documents, Skye was taken from the wild as a chick in 2004 and imprinted. She was illegally kept by a man in southern California who gave her to a California center when he no longer wanted her. There she was determined to be non-releasable due to her imprinting. She was given to a falconer to determine if she could be used for hunting and eventually returned to nature. The falconer returned her after a week reporting she did not have the aggression necessary to hunt. She was then transferred to a Washington facility and then to Liberty.

Red-Tailed Hawk Facts

The red-tailed hawk is one of the most common and widespread soaring hawks (Buteos) found throughout North and Central America, and the Caribbean Islands except extreme Northern Canada. This hawk is the most common hawk found throughout Arizona.

Life span: Red-tailed hawks are relatively long-lived birds. While many live less than two years, those that survive the first few years can live 12 to 16 years. The oldest known wild red-tailed hawk lived to at least 21.5 years old. In captivity, red-tailed hawks have lived for at least 29.5 years.

Prey: The red-tailed hawk is an important raptor in controlling rodent populations. Typical food includes small to medium-sized mammals such as rodents, cottontails, and jackrabbits. It will also eat birds and reptiles.

Babies/Nests: They build bulky stick nests in tall trees, poles or on ledges. The nests are often lined with soft material. The female usually lays 2 to 3 eggs. Incubation lasts between 28 and 32 days.