The red-tail is the most commonly seen bird of prey in North America. It may also be the most commonly heard. The raspy scream of the red-tail is used in movies and on television for any bird of prey including the eagle.

85-90% of this hawk's diet is rodents, like rats and mice, making it an important ally to humans. Mated pairs of red-tails have been seen hunting cooperatively with one bird chasing the prey toward its waiting mate.