This large bird of prey is appreciably bigger than a crow. It has variable coloring, but common features include broad wings, short tail, and (from beneath) dark coloring on the leading edge of the wings. Often the breast is white streaked with brown.
The red-tailed hawk soars high looking for its main food, small mammals. It also will perch patiently on a high snag. It needs a tall tree or building for a nesting site. Its trademark scream is unforgettable.
What brings it to the SBG?
Food, cover, possibly nesting sites. This species is often seen in open areas like the SBG. They have been seen soaring above the garden traveling from west to east.
When can I see it?
Year-round. Some red-tailed hawks migrate from the northerly part of the species range, but they are observed year-round in Centre County.