An alert viewer of WOWT-TV/Channel 6 in Omaha, NE shared this pic of a Red-tailed Hawk caught looking into a Nebraska Department of Roads camera at Interstate 80 and Giles Road in Sarpy County just yesterday. Joel Jorgensen, our Nongame Bird Program Manager at Game and Parks, confirmed the hawk’s identity.
Some interesting tidbits of information about the Red-tailed Hawk. It is one of the more widespread hawks in Nebraska and North America. This hawk has become more and more common in urban areas. It normally eats small rodents and mammals. The construction of highways and interstate systems with utility poles and signposts alongside treeless medians provides perfect habitat for the Red-tailed Hawk to perch-hunt. You’ll most likely see this hawk soaring in wide circles high over open fields and grassy areas. In high winds, the hawk may face into the wind and hover without flapping its wings with eyes fixed on the ground. The Red-tailed Hawk attacks its prey with a slow, controlled dive with legs outstretched - much different from a falcon’s stoop. Red-tailed Hawks here in the Cornhusker State are at the cusp of nesting and the females will soon be laying eggs.
Get more information about the Red-tailed Hawk in Nebraska by clicking this link: http://nebraskabirdlibrary.org/index.php/falconiformes/accipitridae/red-tailed-hawk.html
Keep an eye out for this beautiful hawk and many other ‘cool’ raptors that live in the Nebraska landscape!