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