Saturday, January 29, 2011

American Red-Shouldered Hawk Habitats: Platform Nest, Pale Egg, Brown Body


Summary: Pale eggs in platform nests get North American red-shouldered hawk habitats brown bodies seasonally in Canada and Mexico, year-round in the United States.


red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus); Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, Gainesville, Alachua County, north central Florida; April 9, 2008; Sfullenwider, CC BY SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

North American red-shouldered hawk habitats address cultivator anxieties through Accipitridae raptor family member appetites for rampaging reptiles but aggravate hunters and naturalists through distribution ranges along coasts and into the eastern interior.
Red-shouldered hawks bear their common name and the scientific name Buteo lineatus (striped buzzard) from red leading edges on wings and from black-and-white-striped tails and wings. Agro-industry, construction, pollution, predation, recreation, tourism and urbanization challenge the red-shouldered hawk, described in 1788 by German naturalist Johann Friedrich Gmelin (Aug. 8, 1748-Nov. 1, 1804). A thousand-mile (1,609.34-kilometer) distance divides four subspecies of eastern Mexico and the United States from the only subspecies in western coastal Mexico and the United States.
Eighteen-year lifespans expect moist coniferous, deciduous or mixed forests and woodlands, especially of eucalyptus and oak in the west and of mangrove and palmetto in Florida.

January through July furnish opportunities for brooding one two- to five-egg clutch, followed by more if the first smooth, somewhat glossy, subelliptical to elliptical eggs fail.
Parents-to-be gather twigs into bark-, leaf-, lichen-, stem-lined, bulky, flat-topped, 2- to 3-inch- (5.08- to 7.62-centimeter-) deep, 8- to 12-inch- (20.32- to 30.48-centimeter-) high platform nests. Nests with 8-inch (20.32-centimeter) inner and 18- to 24-inch outer (45.2- to 60.96-centimeter) diameters house eggs 20 to 60 feet (6.09 to 18.29 meters) up trees. Parents-to-be initiate 23- to 40-day incubations with the first-laid buff or white, 2.06- to 2.22-inch (52.4- to 56.5-millimeter) by 1.65- to 1.73-inch (42- to 44-millimeter) egg.
Great-horned owls and raccoons jeopardize brown,-, lilac-, red-brown-blotched, specked or spotted eggs, hatchlings and nestlings and their co-incubating, co-tending parents in North American red-shouldered hawk habitats.

Downy, semi-helpless hatchlings know long- and soft-coated buff-white upperparts, purple-buff-tinted backs and wings and white underparts and subsequently thick- and woolly-coated gray-white upperparts and white underparts.
Black-billed, different-aged, different-sized, yellow-cered nestlings with dark eye surrounds live off parent-foraged food and, two to four or five weeks after hatching, look active and feathered. Six-week-olds move nearby, for meals with parents for another eight to 10 weeks, until independence at 17 to 19 weeks and sexual maturity at one year. Adults need beetles, caterpillars, chipmunks, crayfish, doves, earthworms, fish, frogs, gophers, grasshoppers, lizards, mice, moles, pigeons, rabbits, shrews, snakes, sparrows, spiders, squirrels, starlings, toads and voles.
North American red-shouldered hawk habitats up to 8,202.1 feet (2,500 meters) above sea level offer winter-coldest temperatures at minus 25 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 31.66 degrees Celsius).

Bio-geography and physiques put orange-breasted, rufous-headed red-shouldered hawks into California's elegans and Texas' texanus subspecies and pale-breasted, pale-headed red-shouldered hawks into Florida's alleni and extimus subspecies.
Brown upperparts, brown- and white-banded tails, adult-like in fanning for soaring, brown-mottled, spotted, streaked cream-white underparts and translucent patches near dark wing tips quicken juvenile identifications. Black- and white-barred tails, dark-streaked gray heads, red shoulder patches, red- and white-barred breasts, white undertail feathers and white-spotted dark brown plumage reveal yellow-footed, yellow-legged adults. Circular soaring, fast-flapped flight on 3- to 3.5-foot (0.91- to 1.07-meter) wingspans suggests 17- to 27-ounce (481.94- to 765.44-gram), 17- to 24-inch (43.18- to 60.96-centimeter) adults.
North American red-shouldered hawk habitats transmit Allen's, elegant, furthermost, striped and Texas subspecies' alarmed or territorial female and male kee-ahh whistles and nesting female kee calls.

illustration of red-shouldered hawk eggs; Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio, figure 3, opp. page 170: Public Domain, via Biodiversity Heritage Library

Acknowledgment
My special thanks to talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the internet.

Image credits:
red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus); Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, Gainesville, Alachua County, north central Florida; April 9, 2008; Sfullenwider, CC BY SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons @ https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kanapaha-2008_04_09-IMG_0128.JPG
illustration of red-shouldered hawk eggs; Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio, Plate XLIV, figure 3, opp. page 170: Public Domain, via Biodiversity Heritage Library @ http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/34908293

For further information:
Baicich, Paul J.; and Harrison, Colin J.O. Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings of North American Birds. Second edition. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, Princeton Field Guides, 2005.
Bangs, Outram. 16 January 1920. "A New Red-Shouldered Hawk From the Florida Keys: Buteo lineatus extimus subsp. nov." Proceedings of the New England Zoölogical Club, vol. VII (1919-1921): 35.
Available via Biodiversity Heritage Library @ http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/12606572
Bishop, Lois B. (Bennett). April 1912. "An Apparently Unrecognized Race of the Red-Shouldered Hawk: Buteo lineatus texanus subsp. nov. Texas Red-Shouldered Hawk." The Auk,  vol. XXIX (old series vol. XXXVII), no. II: 232-233. Cambridge MA: The American Ornithologists' Union.
Available via Biodiversity Heritage Library @ http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/16020142
Cassin, John. 27 February 1855. "Notes on North American Falconidae, With Descriptions of New Species: 15. Buteo elegans, nobis." Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, vol. VII (1854, 1855): 281-282. Philadelphia PA: Merrihew & Thompson.
Available via Biodiversity Heritage Library @ http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/1694395
Available via HathiTrust @ https://hdl.handle.net/2027/hvd.32044093291839?urlappend=%3Bseq=307
Gmelin, Johann Friedrich. 1788. "82. Falco lineatus." Caroli a Linné Systema Naturae, tom. I, pars I: 268. Lipsaie [Leipzig]: Impensis Georg Emanuel Beer.
Available via Biodiversity Heritage Library @ http://biodiversity library.org/page/2896868
Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia, 2nd edition. Volumes 8-11, Birds I-IV, edited by Michael Hutchins, Jerome A. Jackson, Walter J. Bock and Donna Olendorf. Farmington Hills MI: Gale Group, 2002.
Jones, Howard. 1886. Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio. Illustrations by Mrs. N.E. Jones. Vol. II. Circleville OH: s.n. (sine nomine).
Available via Biodiversity Heritage Library @ http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/34908243
Peterson, Alan P., M.D. "Buteo linneatus (Gmelin) 1788." Zoonomen: Zoological Nomenclature Resource > Birds of the World -- Current Valid Scientific Avian Names > Accipitriformes > Buteo.
Available @ http://www.zoonomen.net/avtax/acci.html
Ridgway, Robert. 26 January 1885. "Description of a New Race of the Red-Shouldered Hawk From Florida: Buteo lineatus alleni, subsp. nov." Proceedings of the United States National Museum, vol. VII (1884), no. 33: 514-515.
Available via Biodiversity Heritage Library @ http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/7306308


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