Red-tailed Hawk Calls & Screams (w/ AUDIO examples)

Below, you will learn how to EASILY identify the calls and sounds that a Red-tailed Hawk makes! My guess is that after listening, you will realize you have heard one before.

red-tailed hawk calls and sounds

Red-tailed Hawk Calls:

  • Make sure to press PLAY on the audio files below. πŸ™‚

Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis)Β make a call that is a hoarse, raspy scream that descends in pitch, which lasts roughly 2 – 3 seconds. Personally, I think it’s one of the BEST sounds of ANY bird!Β This call can be transcribed as β€œkree-eee-ar” or β€œtsee-eeee-arr.” Some people describe it as sounding similar to a steam whistle.

Red-tailed Hawk sounds are typically heard while soaring in the sky. They are most vocal and loudest when angry, such as when a rival hawk or potential threat has entered their territory!

Interestingly, the screams of a Red-tailed Hawk are often used on television to replace Bald Eagle vocalizations, which helps make the eagle sound more intimidating. Despite their appearance, Bald Eagle calls are quite soft, chirpy, and weak.

You can see and hear Red-tailed Hawks almost ANYWHERE you live in North America. They are common in every state (except Hawaii), province, and even most of Mexico! These large raptors are often seen on long drives in the countryside, soaring in the sky or perched on a fence post. The plumage color of Red-tailed Hawks can be anything from nearly white to virtually black, so coloration is not a reliable indicator. The best way to identify them is by looking for their characteristic red tail or listening for their sounds and calls. πŸ™‚

Watch the short video below for more examples of calls and sounds from a Red-tailed Hawk.

YouTube video


Have you heard the calls and sounds of a Red-tailed Hawk before?

If so, please let us know below!

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