The Red-Tailed Hawk is a bird of prey that breeds throughout most of North America, from the interior of Alaska and northern Canada to as far south as Panama and the West Indies. It is one of the most common members within the genus of Buteo in North America or worldwide. The red-tailed hawk is one of three species colloquially known in the United States as the "chicken hawk," though it rarely preys on standard-sized chickens. The cry of the red-tailed hawk is a two to three second hoarse, rasping scream, variously transcribed as kree-eee-ar, tsee-eeee-arrr or sheeeeee, that begins at a high pitch and slurs downward. This cry is often described as sounding similar to a steam whistle.