Buteo Hawks of North America


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Here’s five of the more common Buteo hawks found in Canada, Mexico, and The United States. All feed primarily on small mammals such as: Rabbits, voles, mice, squirrels, and prairie dogs. Insects, birds, and reptiles are also on their menu. All are frequently found in open areas. Grasslands, desert, and sparsely forested areas. Many have adapted to human habitation impacts and can be found hunting from a perch upon a utility pole along an urban roadside.

For more information about these birds definitely check out www.allaboutbirds.org

It’s one of my favorite online resources for raptors and other birds of North America.

I’d like to credit Floyd Scholz’s book “Birds of Prey” (Stackpole Books 1993.) as an indispensable resource in raptor illustration.

These illustrations are done in Micron pen and watercolor.

Thanks so much for looking at birds with me.

Hawks of the World: Red Shouldered Hawk

Buteo lineatus.

Definitely one of my favorite birds to watch and paint. Found across eastern North America and along the California coast south into Mexico. Hunting from a perch and on the wing. They take a variety of prey, ranging from small mammals, birds, insects, snakes and occasionally fish.  Found in forested and open areas. Nests are built of branches in treetops at 35-50 feet up. They lay usually 3 eggs per clutch.

red shouldered hawks

RSHA map

Thanks a bunch for looking at birds with me. We covered this bird already here something like three years ago and I felt it was time to have another go at painting this bird as I’ve learned a lot since the last time. I’m glad I did, this was very fun to put together.

Write a poem or paint a Warbler?

What’s the difference?

The first bird I saw out my window of my new home was to my absolute delight, a Townsend's Warbler. So it seemed like a great bird to put to page. The pencil work here.

The first bird I saw out my window of my new home was to my absolute delight, a Townsend’s Warbler. So it seemed like a great bird to put to page. The pencil work here.

I decided to do the Male/Female combo like my Grandpa's old bird guide. The pen work here.

I decided to do the Male/Female combo like my Grandpa’s old bird guide. The pen work here.

Shake the dreams from your hair.

The pile of sketches from the last few days keeps falling off the speaker cabinet in the corner of the room. The bass vibrations send them toppling down to the floor. Water color paintings and pencil sketches taking a brief flight to the paint stained rug beneath. Flight seems an appropriate word as many of them are hawks. Screenshots from my own dreamscape television program. Caught in the echoes. No sense seen in turning down the music. For it’s this moments bird with its talons still grappling my imagination tight. Caught on the wing in my childhood, they still never fail at carrying me away.

But I all ready wrote her that poem.


If I knew the way…

I would take you home.

The other day I heard a friend of mine was having some health problems. I said a prayer in my head as I set out on my bicycle to admire the beautiful piece of the planet I inhabit. As I thought of this good for my friend a Red-shouldered Hawk flew right over my head from a tree behind me. Moments later I came across another tree with a pair of Red-shouldered hawks looking down to me on my bicycle. The smile that brought fueled me further and moments later I was face to face with another Red Hawk. I’m not here to preach to you about anything other than the good that is the natural kingdom, but I will say those hawks brought me good hope on their wings. An experience well timed, I am grateful for. Whatever unfolds down the line from here I am forever grateful to be here to draw birds for you on our planet Earth. If that’s all I’ll do then that’s the best I’ll do.

Thank you.

Watercolor and pen on paper.

Watercolor and pen on paper.

Acrylic paint on plywood.

Acrylic paint on plywood.

Finishing a page with the radio playing.

9pm and there is a record playing in the corner. The dust is audible on the speakers, like sunshine through a dirt stained-glass. I’m halfway through the watercolor on this particular page. I got thirsty so brushes went down. Riding my bicycle to the store for a backpack full of Orange Peach Mango juice. A Barn Owl screeched at me from its perch in the palm. Heard but not seen.

The store was busy, I got my juice and left. The sound of the owl still bouncing around in my head.

The story ends with this page here before you.

Still dust through the speakers though.