We are not sure how old Misha is since he was born in the wild. Red-tailed hawks don’t get their red tail plumage until their second year, and Misha had them when he arrived at the Raptor Center. This meant he was already an adult, at least 1.5 years old. Based on that, Misha would now be around 18 years or older.
For many years we were also not sure what sex he was. Male and female red-tailed hawks share the same basic plumage and they also overlap in regards to size, so there was no way of knowing unless we ran further tests. Just recently we sent his blood for DNA testing and it was determined that he was, in fact, a male.
Misha is currently one of the longest standing residents in the animal department. According to 12-year veteran Keeper Kent, he has barely shown any signs of aging in all his time here. Below is a picture of his beautiful red tail plumage, which is the best way to identify this species of hawk in the wild. The plumage of red-tailed hawks can vary between individuals, so Misha’s colors and patterns will not be exactly the same as others.Please visit the web site of Carolina Raptor Center at www.carolinaraptorcenter.org/ for more information on red-tailed hawks and other raptors.