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A dark-phased red-tailed hawk is seen soaring over Clay County last weekend. This type is more typically encountered in the far west and only seen locally during migration. Keith Corliss/The Pioneer

Variations abound for this red-tailed hawk

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The red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) is about as common an airborne predator as there is. During the breeding season, this large soaring hawk can be found in just about any habitat from mainland Alaska to the tip of Florida, even down into Central America. For this reason, it's probably the most visually recognized bird of prey in this country. Even its voice is known to all.

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