Chances are if you see a hawk in Central Florida, it’s like a Red-shouldered Hawk. That’s been the case for me since I started photographing them in January 2023.
Red-shouldered Hawks are year-round residents, and you might be as likely to spot one in your own neighborhood as at the Orlando Wetlands. They can live up to 25 years and will return to the same nesting areas year after year, so you could end up seeing some familiar faces.
And while they are found in most of the eastern part of the U.S., there is a difference among some of the ones who live in Florida. “The form in very southern Florida is the palest, having a gray head and very faint barring on the chest,” says AllAboutBirds.org.
Here are some of my favorite photos that I have taken of Red-shouldered Hawks.