Red-shouldered hawks inhabit our larger forests, and prefer wooded swamps and floodplain forests. In Southwest Michigan, this medium-sized hawk can be found along wooded areas of the St. Joseph River, and along the Galien River basin where such habitat is abundant.

The red-shouldered hawk belongs to the genus buteo, of which the common red-tailed hawk and the winter resident rough-legged hawk are also classified.

Jonathan Wuepper is an area naturalist. Report your sightings to him at