Red-shouldered Hawks are members of the Buteo family - a group of hawks including the Red-tailed Hawk, Swainson's Hawk, and Rough-legged Hawk. They are strikingly colored birds that typically inhabit forests and swamps. Adults sport a black and white banded tail, barred orange feathers are on the chest and they have bright yellow legs. They are named for a reddish patch of feathers on the "shoulder", hence the name. Males are somewhat smaller than females as is typical of predatory birds. In flight, these hawks have what looks like half moon shaped translucent "windows" in the primary feathers that is easily seen when the light hits them just right. The wings from above have darker primary feathers bordering this lighter crescent shaped patch. One can also observe the speckled orange coloration of the underside of the wings.
With keen eyesight and a small hooked bill and very sharp talons, they are incredible hunters feasting on a number of different prey items like small mammals, reptiles and amphibians as well as other birds.
What was interesting to note was the great deal of vocalizing they did - adults and young - almost as if they were continually calling each other to keep tabs on where the others were. Perhaps it was a skill-building activity like playing "tag". One bird would call and the other would respond while flying back to where the first bird was. Than again, one would fly, land, call out, and the other would follow.