A pair of hawks have built their nest in the sweetgum tree in our front yard in Louisiana. The nest is too high for us to see any chicks, but there are calls that sound like chicks and the two adult hawks seem to be tending a brood.
Identification of the hawk’s species was difficult because we have only seen the birds fleetingly from a distance. Our first guess was the broad-winged hawk, but by comparing their calls to on-line references, I am now fairly confident that they are red-shouldered hawks.
The call of this hawk compares closely to calls of the red-shouldered hawk that are available at this link.
Red-shouldered hawks are birds of the woodlands, found throughout the southeastern United States and also in California. In the south these hawks do not migrate far, and they commonly use their nests for more than one season.
Historically red-shouldered hawks have been one of the most common hawks in North America, but deforestation has greatly reduced their numbers. They are now found occasionally in wooded suburban areas. They most commonly nest in tall deciduous trees, like our sweetgum.