CentralJersey.com: REGION: Red-tailed hawks moving into area They fill the sky with their distinctive, shrill call.


(Photo courtesy by centraljersey.com)

They fill the sky with their distinctive, shrill call. They stand nearly two feet tall, with a wingspan of up to five feet.They soar in wide circles searching the ground below for prey. They link talons and spiral toward the earth in a fantastic display of aerial acrobatics during mating season. And yet, perhaps the most remarkable feature of red-tailed hawks is their ability to thrive in close proximity to man.These large, avian predators have been moving into urban areas in the last couple of decades, said David Wilcove, professor of ecology at Princeton University. According to Princeton animal control officer Mark Johnson, the town is home to about 40 red-tailed hawks.  Mr. Johnson added that this number has been rising, possibly because of high populations of rodents such as mice and squirrels, which serve as the hawk’s primary food source.

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