Fun White-tailed Hawk Facts For Kids

Devangana Rathore
Nov 19, 2022 By Devangana Rathore
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
There are so many fun white-tailed hawk facts to know and learn! Make sure you do not miss a single one!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.5 Min

There are many fun bird families and subspecies, but none is more interesting than the white-tailed hawk.

This species and its subspecies can usually be seen in migration towards the south from Texas as a family and can be easily recognized from their prominently colored wings.

They are most frequently found in Texas because of the favorable climate and ample supply of small animals for them to eat. They eat a variety of small rodents, birds, reptiles, and a gamut of other species in Texas, though they favor reptiles over all else.

On occasion, they have even been spotted with large catches like baby deer, which then fuel these birds up for their day-to-day life as well as more taxing ordeals like their migration to the south.

If you think you'd like to know more about this bird, then read on! Also, do not forget to check out other birds like the chicken hawk and sparrowhawk

White-Tailed Hawk Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a white-tailed hawk?

The white-tailed hawk (Geranoaetus albicaudatus) is a type of hawk.

What class of animal does a white-tailed hawk belong to?

The white-tailed hawk, Geranoaetus albicaudatus, belongs to the class Aves.

How many white-tailed hawks are there in the world?

There are 2 million breeding birds worldwide, but only 10,000 exist in the United States.

Where does a white-tailed hawk live?

White-tailed hawk, Geranoaetus albicaudatus, lives in the savanna. The white-tailed hawk range is a tropical Buteo that only makes it to the United States in Texas, where it is rather frequent. However, Central America, Mexico, and most of South America are also home to them.

What is a white-tailed hawk's habitat?

The white-tailed hawk's habitat is the prairies, grasslands, pastures, and savannas of Southern Texas. These white-tailed hawk habitats have some trees and shrubs in these areas. Specially white-tailed juveniles flock to prairie fires to catch rodents or other animals escaping the flames.

Who do white-tailed hawks live with?

These hawk species of Texas do form big flocks on occasion. The birds feed on reptiles, frequently take advantage of increasing thermal air currents, and given the correct conditions, you can observe dozens (thousands, during migration) of them flying together. These birds not only forage in groups, but they also nest in them.

How long does a white-tailed hawk live?

The lifespan of this bird with dark wings and white-tail, reside in grasslands, is around 12 years. However, those kept in captivity can survive longer.

How do they reproduce?

Their nests are often situated around 2 ft (60c m) off the ground in succulents, shrubs, or low trees, in open places with no high vegetation. These nests are frequently nearby a small water feature like a pond. Both sexes contribute to the construction of the nest on the trees.

These nests are built in the middle of the winter and endure for more than a month. A nest is made up of dried wood, grasses, and twigs. The size of a nest varies greatly.

Coastal birds, the white-tailed hawks create monogamous breeding pairs that stay together for a long time. When courting, males and females take a low flight, then ascend to a higher altitude before returning to the perch.

Males frequently land on the ground during the flight away from the nest. The female lays two to three eggs. During the fledging period, the family tends to the young hawks, but parents eject them from the nest in the middle to late winter.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the white-tailed hawk (Geranoaetus albicaudatus) bird is of Least Concern according to the IUCN Red List. The conservation status is the same for the great black hawk bird.

White-Tailed Hawk Fun Facts

What do white-tailed hawks look like?

The white tail of white-tailed hawk raptors is a lovely slate gray with rufous shoulders and a crisp black ring on the white-tail.

Adults are gray top, white below, and have slight pale gray or rufous banding on the rump. The white short tail has a small black stripe. Whenever the bird is resting with its wings closed, it has a corroded shoulder patch. Above the black primary remiges, the wings appear dark, with gray admixed just below.

Juvenile white-tailed hawk is darker than adults, and in low light, they can appear virtually black. The black-and-white wing lining is prominent, and the rusty shoulder patch is missing in young birds. As the birds grow older, their tails shift from brown with multiple dark bars to grayish with a blurry, dark band. Gray hawks have rounded wings.

How cute are they?

While we wouldn't describe these birds as charming, they are rather beautiful to see in flight.

How do they communicate?

The white-tailed hawk's call range is often a high-pitched chuckling with a tinkling tone that resembles goat bleating or the chuckling gull's calls.

How big is a white-tailed hawk?

This bird belongs to North America, Mexico, Texas, and South America. The length range is between  17-24 in (43.1-61 cm). The length range of North American species red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) is about 17.7-25 in (45-63.5 cm). White-tailed species are significantly below Red-tailed birds in terms of size.

How fast can a white-tailed hawk fly?

The amazing fact about North American raptors, white-tailed hawk, is that while they're hunting, they're even faster. These majestic birds have been reported diving towards the ground for prey with speeds of up to 150 mph (241.4 kph) while gliding at rates of up to 120 mph (193.1 kph).

How much does a white-tailed hawk weigh?

The adults' weight range measures up to 9.87 oz (279.8 g) of these coastal species of Texas and Mexico.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and females have no particular names. However, commonly tiercel refers to male hawks, while hens refer to female hawks.

What would you call a baby white-tailed hawk?

There is no special name for a baby of this coastal species, lives in grasslands, but eyas is the name given to a young hawk in general.

What do they eat?

White-tailed hawks, species of  Texas, prey on mammals, small animals, and huge insects. They forage for food from perches or the air, keeping an eye on the ground and lower plants.

Whenever they spot prey, they dive in and seize it with their talons. White-tailed hawks have been known to take prey from lesser raptors like Swainson's hawk (Buteo swainsoni).

Birds such as king rail, mallard, mourning dove, Attwater's prairie chicken, and domestic hens, as well as squirrels, are among the prey. In southern Texas, rabbits constitute the majority of the hawk's diet.

Are they poisonous?

These species of Texas, located in South America, North America, are not poisonous birds.

Would they make a good pet?

White-tailed hawks are wild South American birds. They could be domesticated, but you'll need a license and training from some other falconer to do so because these birds require a particular habitat to thrive.

Did you know...

White hawk is a widespread species rarely seen, although the IUCN does not regard it as threatened considering its wide distribution.  When someone keeps seeing this white feathered hawk, it means that something sacred will happen, and the creator is sending you a word that a miracle is on its way. They mostly eat small animals.

What's special about white-tailed hawks?

Among the North American hawk family and its subspecies, it has a white tail with a black or brown band towards the tip. The wing plumes of a seated adult hawk extend conspicuously beyond the tail, unlike other buteo hawks.

A juvenile bird's tail can be up to 15% lengthier than an adult's, as well as its wing feathers scarcely extend beyond the point of its tail.

Are white-tailed hawks endangered?

The population of white-tailed hawks raptors in Texas appears to be constant or growing. Partners in flight believe that there are two million breeding birds globally, but only 10,000 of them dwell in the United States.

Nest interference is a problem for white-tailed hawks, but their biggest problem is habitat loss due to overgrazing, farming, and construction. Deforestation in the tropics is likely to increase the amount of habitat accessible to this species.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these blue-winged macaw facts and cedar waxwing facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our White-tailed hawk coloring pages.

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Written by Devangana Rathore

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language, Master of Philosophy

Devangana Rathore picture

Devangana RathoreBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language, Master of Philosophy

Devangana is a highly accomplished content writer and a deep thinker with a Master's degree in Philosophy from Trinity College, Dublin. With a wealth of experience in copywriting, she has worked with The Career Coach in Dublin and is constantly looking to enhance her skills through online courses from some of the world's leading universities. Devangana has a strong background in computer science and is also an accomplished editor and social media manager. Her leadership skills were honed during her time as the literacy society president and student president at the University of Delhi.

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Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi

Postgraduate Diploma in Management

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Sakshi RaturiPostgraduate Diploma in Management

Sakshi has experience in marketing strategy, social media planning, and recruiting industry experts for capstone projects, she has displayed a commitment to enhancing their skills and knowledge. She has won multiple awards, including a Certificate of Appreciation for Creative Writing and a Certificate of Merit for Immaculate Turut, and is always seeking new opportunities to grow and develop.

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