Friday’s Feathered Friends-Red-Tail Hawk Chick

Copyright ©2022 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT USE MY IMAGES WITHOUT EXPRESSED WRITTEN PERMISSION!

The Red-Tail Hawk is back using the same nest as last year for this year’s breeding season. Yipee!

On the 15th while on my walk I think I spied a little head so when I got home I grabbed my camera and went back out to take photos of the nest and sure enough there was a chick in the nest and Mom too.

Red-Tail Hawk and sleepy chick

It wasn’t long before Mom took flight to stretch her wings. She flew into a tree across the way a bit to keep watch and once in awhile she called out letting the chick know she was near…I think. I kept waiting hoping the chick would sit up and it paid off.

Red-tail Hawk Chick

Look how fuzzy and soft it looks! 2 weeks later look how big it is and there’s less fuzz and more brown.

Red-tail Hawk Chick

The tree has leafed out quite a bit too making it a bit more difficult to see the chick. This is heavily cropped as well.

I’ll keep checking in on it and hopefully, I won’t miss the fledging like I did last year.

Fun Facts-gleaned from allaboutbirds.org

  • The Red-tailed Hawk has a thrilling, raspy scream that sounds exactly like a raptor should sound. At least, that’s what Hollywood directors seem to think. Whenever a hawk or eagle appears onscreen, no matter what species, the shrill cry on the soundtrack is almost always a Red-tailed Hawk.
  • Birds are amazingly adapted for life in the air. The Red-tailed Hawk is one of the largest birds you’ll see in North America, yet even the biggest females weigh in at only about 3 pounds. A similar-sized small dog might weigh 10 times that.
  • The “Harlan’s Hawk” breeds in Alaska and northwestern Canada, and winters on the southern Great Plains. This very dark form of the Red-tailed Hawk has a marbled white, brown, and gray tail instead of a red one. It’s so distinctive that it was once considered a separate species, until ornithologists discovered many individuals that were intermediate between Harlan’s and more typical Red-tailed Hawks.
  • Courting Red-tailed Hawks put on a display in which they soar in wide circles at a great height. The male dives steeply, then shoots up again at an angle nearly as steep. After several of these swoops he approaches the female from above, extends his legs, and touches her briefly. Sometimes, the pair grab onto one other, clasp talons, and plummet in spirals toward the ground before pulling away.
  • Red-tailed Hawks have been seen hunting as a pair, guarding opposite sides of the same tree to catch tree squirrels.
  • The oldest known wild Red-tailed Hawk was at least 30 years, 8 months old when it was found in Michigan in 2011, the same state where it had been banded in 1981.

I hope you all have a lovely week-end!

Fuji X-T3| Fuji 100-400mm lens| PS CC 23.2.2

more to come…

50 thoughts on “Friday’s Feathered Friends-Red-Tail Hawk Chick

  1. Wow! Such great photos Deborah! I liked seeing the baby in its nest. I enjoyed learning about this hawk. 😃
    I have been watching a mother Robin feed its baby this week… the baby is out of the nest but not strong enough to fly very far yet. It is interesting how they “talk” to each other.

  2. Wonderful photography as usual and thanks for some
    Tidbits on these birds
    How cool that the banded one from 1981 showed up in 2011
    I could imagine the joy of the researchers who track this stuff – they must have been overjoyed

  3. How blessed you are Deborah to capture such a sweet moment in the life of this raptor’s life. Beautiful captures of the babies in the nest. Certainly something to be excited about witnessing.

  4. I really enjoyed this celebration of the red-tailed hawk, Deborah. You did a great job covering some of the interesting facts about them, and your photos were a real treat. I especially enjoyed seeing the two images of the nestling, two weeks apart. What an absolute thrill for you, and for us.

    1. Thank you, Donna! I was planning to go this week-end to check on them, but the weather has turned windy and cold and it might rain. You can imagine how bad the light is right now! I may have to wait until next week. I picked up a lifer yesterday! A Warbling Vireo who is sitting on a nest! I’ll be checking on that one too but, not as often as she’s an hour drive from home and a hike to get to. Still I saw her! 💃

      1. A Warbling Vireo, yay! 💃 I saw my first Warbling Vireo a couple weeks ago too! 🙂 In a historical church cemetery no less, lol. I keep returning for a photo, but he keeps avoiding me, little stinker hehe. But it is still a thrill to add a lifer no matter a photo or not! Congrats, Deborah on adding another lifer!

  5. You know that old The Troggs song, Wild Thing? As I was looking at the Red-tailed Hawk photos, what echoed in my mind was “Hawk Chick, you make my heart sing!” I simply love the 2 photos 2 weeks apart, where you can see spring blossom on the tree’s leaves and on the Red-tailed Hawk chick. Beautiful!

  6. We have red-tailed hawks around here, but I don’t think I’ve heard their voices. I see them in the trees or flying overhead “making lazy circles in the sky.”

  7. Great photos! You’re lucky you were able to get shots of the baby…we have a few mating pairs here in my neighborhood and they’re loud. There’s a big nest in a giant pine tree behind my house. We can see the parents go to it and can hear them, but we can’t see up in the nest.

  8. Fascinating! I’m not surprised the red tailed hawk’s voice has been used instead of the tinkle-y peeps of the bald eagle. I was surprised however, the first time I heard a bald eagle in the wild! 😁

    Deb

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