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Griffith Park Yarnscape 6: How to Crochet a Red-tailed Hawk

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Topics: DIY, Exhibitions

Have you had enough passive screen-time and want to make something with your hands, maybe learning a new skill in the process? Join us in contributing to a gallery display of Griffith Park in crochet, with the help of these how-to videos.   

As part of our exhibition Investigating Griffith Park we’re inviting the Autry community to make pieces to represent various aspects of the park, from nature to recreational activities, and mail them into the Autry (or drop them off in person once the museum re-opens, if you prefer). We’ll then add your art to the gallery, around a crocheted Griffith Park sign, to capture the essence of the park and create a post-pandemic community display.  

This week’s video shows you how to make a red-tailed hawk, a raptor species commonly found in Griffith Park. Each year since 2017 the Friends of Griffith Park have conducted a raptor nesting study, which you can learn more about here.

You don’t need experience with crochet, as instructor Julie Kadoi walks you through the basic stitches, and for those more comfortable with working from written instructions, we have included the pattern below. So, pick up those hooks and yarn, make a red-tailed hawk (or maybe a leafy daisy , a kite, a butterfly, a California poppy or an elderberry leaf from previous videos) and look for future videos in the coming weeks.    

Yarnscape 6: How to Crochet a Red-tailed Hawk

Griffith Park Yarnscape 6: How to Crochet a Red-tailed Hawk

Download Directions as PDF File


  • DK-weight (#3) yarn in tan, brown, white, grey, yellow, and peach
  • 3.75 mm (F) crochet hook
  • Tapestry needle
  • Scissors

Glossary of terms & abbreviations: 

  • chain stitch (ch): To make, draw yarn through the active loop on the hook. 
  • fasten off: cut the yarn 3 to 4 inches from the last stitch and draw the end through the active loop. Pull tightly to secure.  
  • double crochet stitch (dc): To make, yarn over, insert hook into indicated stitch, draw up a loop, (there will be three loops on the hook) yarn over and draw through two loops, yarn over and draw through two loops again.
  • double-treble crochet stitch (dtc): To make, yarn over three times, insert hook in indicated stitch, draw up a loop (there will be 5 loops on the hook), yarn over and draw through 2 loops four times.
  • front loop only (FLO): indicates the location of where to place a stitch. Out of the two loops in the top of a stitch, only work under the one which is closest to the crocheter.
  • half-double crochet stitch (hdc): To make, yarn over, insert hook into indicated stitch, draw up a loop, (there should be three loops on the hook) yarn over and draw through all three loops.
  • long single crochet (spike stitch): To make, insert hook into the indicated location in a previous row, draw up a long loop (back up to the current row), yarn over and draw through both loops.
  • single crochet stitch (sc): To make, insert your hook into the indicated stitch, draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through both loops.  
  • skip (sk): helps to identify where the next stitch goes by accounting for any stitches in the row below that will not be worked in
  • slip knot: To make, cross the tail end over the yarn to make a loop, draw up yarn from the yarn ball side through the loop and tighten, making sure the cut end is not pulled through.
  • slip stitch (sl st): To make, insert your hook into the indicated stitch, draw up a loop, draw the top loop on the hook through the bottom loop.  
  • stitch (st): a generic stitch, usually designates the location in the previous row in which a particular stitch, such as a single crochet, will be made
  • tail: the unworked cut end of the yarn
  • treble crochet stitch (tc): To make, yarn over twice, insert the hook into the designated stitch, draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through two loops three times.
  • weave in the ends: Using a tapestry needle, draw the yarn end through several stitches on the back side of work, skip one strand of yarn and pull the end through the opposite way, skip another strand and pull the end the opposite way again to lock in place.



Chain 7.  

Round 1

  • Using white yarn, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each of next 4 ch, 4 sc in last ch. Working on opposite side of ch, sc in each of next 4 ch, 3 sc in last chain (same st in which 1st sc of this round was made). Sl st to first sc of this round.  

Round 2

  • Ch 3. Dc in 1st st. Dc in each of next 4 st. 2 dc in each of the next 4 st.  Dc in each of next 4 st. 2 dc in each of next 3 st. Sl st to top ch of starting ch 3. 

Round 3

  • Rt. Body: Sl st in next 4 st, sc in next 5 st. Change to brown yarn.  
  • Head: ch 6, dc in 4th ch from hook, 2 tr in next st, tr in next st.  
  • Lt. Body: sk 2 st on top of body. Sl st in next st, sc in next 3 st, sl st in next 5 st changing to white yarn in last sl st.   
  • Tail feathers
    • ROW 1: Ch 2, dc in same st as ch, tr in next st, tr2tog over two st beginning in same st as tr, work another tr2tog starting in the st you just worked in. 
    • ROW 2 ch 4, tr in 1st st, tr2tog over next two st, work another tr2tog starting in the st you just worked in. 
    • ROW 3: ch 3, dc2tog over 1st and 2nd st, dc in next st, work another dc in the top ch of ch 4 in the last row. Change to peach yarn. 
    • ROW 4: ch 3 (counts as dc), dc2tog over next two st (2nd & 3rd st), dc in top ch of ch 3 in the last row. Fasten off.  


  • ROW 1: With grey yarn, draw a loop of yarn in third stitch from the right bottom of the head. (Ch 1, sc) in 1st st, sc in next st. Ch 1, turn. 
  • ROW 2: Sc2 tog, ch. Fasten off. 


  • With Brown yarn, make a loose slip knot to use as center ring. 
  • ROW 1: Ch 4. 2 tr into center loop. Draw on tail end to shrink center ring. 
  • ROW 2: Ch 4. Tr in 1st st and in next two st.  
  • ROW 3: Ch 3. Dc in each of next 3 st. 
  • ROW 4: Ch 4. Tr in each of the next three st. 
  • ROW 5: Ch 3. Dc3tog over next 3 st. Fasten off. 


  • With tan yarn, ch 6. 
  • ROW 1: (Front) Sk 3 ch. Dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in each of the next 2 ch. 
  • ROW 2: (Back) Ch 3, turn. Dc3tog over next 3 st. Change to yellow yarn. 
  • CLAW: Ch 8. Sk ch, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in next 2 st. Ch 5. Sk ch, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, (sc, sl st) in next st, sl st in next 2 st, sk next st, sc in next 3 st,. Fasten off. 

Join pieces, weave in ends and add eye

Sew the top of the wing to body firmly, taking care to emphasize the incredible strength of this bird though the placement of the wing. The leg is attached to the body with back side facing front. Sew all remaining tail ends in to fill in gaps between stitches. Add a black/yellow eye to the middle left side of beak, either through embroidery, a piece of felt, a mini pompom, a tiny button or a safety eye.  

Mailing Submissions 

Please mail your California Poppy submissions to:  

Autry Museum of the American West 
4700 Western Heritage Way 
Los Angeles CA 90027 

If you prefer you may drop them off when the Autry reopens to the public. 

Land Acknowledgment

The Autry Museum of American West acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands). We recognize that the Autry Museum and its campuses are located on the traditional lands of Gabrielino/Tongva peoples and we pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.

The Autry Museum in Griffith Park

4700 Western Heritage Way

Los Angeles, CA 90027-1462
Located northeast of downtown, across from the Los Angeles Zoo.
Map and Directions

Free parking for Autry visitors.

Tuesday–Friday 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Saturday–Sunday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Food Trucks are available on select days, contact us for details at 323.495.4252.
The cafe is temporarily closed until further notice.