Why do some hawks fan their tails out when they are soaring and others don’t?
On an overcast day earlier this week, I was watching two hawks soaring through the air together, when I happened to notice that one of them kept his tail fanned out all of the time. His tail was so noticeably striped that I am pretty sure that he is a Red-Shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus). The other hawk, however, never fanned out his tail. Looking at the wings of the two hawks, I think they are probably the same kind, although one of them looks to have a somewhat longer body.
So I am left wondering why, under the same conditions, they each chose to us their tails differently.
© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved