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Hawk at my bird feeder - Charlotte, NC


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Like many raptors, a Red-shouldered Hawk's eye color changes as it ages- although I'm not familiar with exact eye color timeline on this species in particular, just looking at photos on ebird there's a high likelihood it was considering how light the eye is.

Edited by Benjamin
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First, birds are not "born," they are hatched. In biological terms, "born" is equivalent to "live birth."

Second, virtually all of the non-huge raptor species spend about one year in juvenile plumage, initiating their molt into adult plumage (definitive basic plumage) about a year after hatching, though with large individual variation in timing around that rough estimate. There is quibbling to be done, as in all things biological, but this is how the system works for nearly all non-huge species in the orders Accipitriformes (hawks) and Falconiformes (falcons), from Sharp-shinned Hawk to Ferruginous Hawk and from American Kestrel to Gyrfalcon.

Given that this bird shows no sign of molt in August, this must be a bird hatched this year.

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