Why are Red Shouldered Hawks named that when they do not have red shoulders?


This one was a bit tricky. The Red Shouldered Hawk does have a reddish orange patch that appears to be at its shoulder when it is perched. If you look closely at the photo, you can see that reddish patch about half way down the wing, where it bends slightly. The red spot is actually at its wrist joint, not the shoulder joint, but when the wings are folded, the wrists rest over the shoulder. Technically, this bird should be called the Red Wristed Hawk, but that sounds strange.