You’ve heard it on the soundtrack of almost every great western: the piercing cry of the red-tailed hawk. Look skyward on any hike and you’ll eventually see the birds of prey, typically flying in pairs, as they turn slow circles in search of a tasty rabbit, chipmunk, or snake. Once a target’s been spotted, the birds tuck in their wings (which can span more than four feet) and dive, relying on their superhuman vision to keep their quarry in sight. It’s easy to identify the adults by their rusty red tails and the bands of dark feathers across their bellies. Also known as the chicken hawk (even though poultry isn’t on its menu) and often seen perching on freeway lampposts, the red-tailed is considerably larger than other local hawks. Cooper’s hawks fly lower to the ground as they hunt small birds, while red-shouldered hawks sport black-and-white-banded tail feathers.