What Does a Red Tailed Hawk Eat?

A red-tailed hawk is a bird of prey that can be found throughout North and South America. Their diet consists mainly of small mammals such as rodents, but they will also eat reptiles, birds, and insects. Hawks typically hunt from a perch, using their keen eyesight to spot their prey below.

Once they have spotted their target, they will swoop down and grab it with their sharp talons.

A red-tailed hawk is a bird of prey that typically feeds on small mammals, reptiles, and birds.

They will also eat carrion (dead animals) if they are able to find it. Their diet can vary depending on what is available to them in their environment.

Red-Tailed Hawk Eating

What is Hawks’ Favorite Food?

Hawks are predators and their favorite food is small mammals such as mice, voles, and shrews. Sometimes they will also eat reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, and other birds.

Hawks typically hunt from a perch or while flying low over the ground. When they spot their prey they will swoop down and grab it with their talons.

How Often Does a Red Tail Hawk Eat?

Red-tailed hawks are opportunistic feeders and will eat a variety of prey items. Small mammals such as squirrels, rabbits, and mice make up the majority of their diet, but they will also take reptiles, birds, fish, and large insects.

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They typically hunt from a perch and swoop down on their unsuspecting prey.

Red-tailed hawks typically eat 1-2 times per day, but this can vary depending on the availability of food and the time of year.

In the spring and summer months, when there is an abundance of prey, they may eat 3 or 4 times per day.

During the winter months, when food is scarce, they may only eat every other day or so.

When red-tailed hawks are feeding young chicks, they may consume up to 3 times their normal amount of food in order to keep up with the demands of their growing babies.

Can You Feed a Wild Red-Tailed Hawk?

No, you cannot feed a wild red-tailed hawk. While it is legal to feed most other birds, it is illegal to feed hawks, eagles, and owls because they are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

This law was put in place to protect these birds from being hunted or captured for the pet trade.

If you want to help these birds, you can do so by putting up nesting boxes or providing perches for them in your yard.

Do Red Tail Hawks Eat Cats?

No, red-tail hawks do not eat cats. While they are predators, their preferred prey is small to medium-sized mammals such as rabbits, squirrels, and mice.

They will also hunt birds, reptiles, and insects.

Occasionally, a red-tail hawk may take a cat if it is sick or injured and unable to put up a fight, but this is not their usual diet.

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Do Red-Tailed Hawks Eat Fish?

Most people think of red-tailed hawks as land birds, but did you know that these predators are also proficient fishermen?

That’s right – in addition to the small mammals, reptiles, and other birds that make up the bulk of their diet, red-tailed hawks will also opportunistically snatch up a fish or two.

While they don’t typically hunt for fish specifically, red-tailed hawks will take advantage of an easy meal if they come across one.

Their sharp talons and powerful grip make them perfectly equipped to snag a fish out of the water.

And while they may not be able to fly away with their prey like they could with a smaller animal, they can still carry it off to eat in peace.

So next time you see a red-tailed hawk perched atop a telephone pole or tree, keep an eye out for any telltale signs that he’s just enjoyed a fresh fish dinner!


Red-tailed hawks are one of the most common hawk species in North America. Hawks are carnivorous birds of prey, and the red-tailed hawk is no exception. These predators primarily hunt small mammals such as rodents or rabbits.

They will also eat reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, and even other birds.

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