Key ears

It is a pretty iconic (and common) sound around Charlotte.  The keeyeeer of the Red-shouldered Hawk, that is.   There is a pair that has been really active in my neighborhood this year.  Red-shouldered Hawks are one of the birds that has taken really well to suburban habitats like Charlotte.  In one study of reproductive success, suburban birds had the same number of successful fledging events as birds from more rural areas.  It’s a useful thing to know about these birds- especially when paired with the information that nest site selection stays about the same.  Red-shouldered Hawks may nest in a variety of tree species, but on average, they prefer to nest in areas with high canopy cover and old trees (with wide trunks).

Dykstra, C.R. et al.  2000.  Nest site selection and productivity of suburban Red-shouldered Hawks in southern his.  Condor 102:  401-408.

Suburban Charlotte (which really is most of the city) definitely meets these criteria and so provides them with a great array of nesting options.   So keep your eyes and ears out for these gorgeous birds.  DSC_0404


About thomasbiology

I'm an Associate Professor of Biology at Queens University of Charlotte with a background in animal behavior with an emphasis in bird song. I've got two secret goals with this blog (well, since I'm sharing them, they're not so secret): 1. To encourage people to look at the natural world around them- not just as a hiking destination, but to notice all the little things moving around them all the time; and 2. To show some of the science that relates to these little things moving around. There's some really fascinating research out there that so few people get to see.
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