Wildlife - Birds of Prey (Kids)

Birds of Prey

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Photo by Chuck Summers of
National Park Service

Red-shouldered Hawk – A favorite sight along WSSC’s watershed, the Red-shoulder Hawk is one of the most vocal hawks.  They like small mammals, like mice, voles and chipmunks. But Red-shouldered Hawks also enjoy reptiles, small birds and large insects.  During the winters, the Red-shouldered hawks can been preying on birds found at bird feeders.

Bald Eagle
Male Bald Eagle
Photo by Steve Hillebrand,
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Bald Eagle – The national emblem of the United States, one recent bird count found 21 (10 mature and 11 immature) eagles at Rocky Gorge.  There was another pair at Brighton Dam.  Bald eagles eat rodents, large birds and carrion (dead animals).  But their favorite meal is fish-which brings them to the Patuxent.

American Kestrel
American Kestrel 
Photo by the National Park Service

American Kestrel – This bird is the most common falcon in the United States. It watches for prey from tall perches, such as trees and telephone poles. Then when it finds its next meal, it hovers and drops on prey such as large insects, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds.

Barred Owl
Barred Owl
Photo from the National Park Service

Barred Owl – The Barred Owl is one of the few typical owls of the eastern United States which has brown eyes. The others have yellow eyes.  The Barred Owl will next in a tree cavity-often using a former nesting area of a crow or a squirrel.

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