Stepping out of my Florida home one morning, I hear the scream-like call of the red-shouldered hawk, a species known for its loud raucous cries and sharp whistles that can be heard from a mile away. I watch it fly over our homes and into a laurel oak tree where it rests briefly then flies to a rooftop of a nearby home.
There is plenty for it to eat – snakes, lizards, rabbits and the large lubber grasshoppers. I have even seen it eyeing up the small birds that come to people’s feeders. I watch it for a while when it suddenly drops down into the concrete driveway and grabs an unsuspecting anole for breakfast and flies off into a nearby tree. This is the way it hunts most of the time – perched on a low branch of a tree waiting for prey to walk within striking distance.
Normally a forest and wetland dwelling species, it has adapted well to the semi-urban landscape here in our community. This is probably why this is one species that has fared well despite the destruction of forest habitat for urban sprawl.