The distant, soaring buteo that holds its position in a stiff breeze as if “pinned to the sky” is a Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis). Plumage variations within this species are great. Some western birds, for example, are extremely dark; others are very pale.
Red-tails hunt from the air and exposed perches, such as the tops of dead trees. The bulk of their diet is small mammals. Other large buteos include the less common Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis) of western grasslands and the Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus), an Arctic breeder.