Tag Archives: Red-shouldered Hawk

Stop The Car, I See A Hawk

I see it!

What Ellen sees at first:

Red-Shouldered Hawk

What Ted sees at first and I saw after circling to get a better view:

Red Shoulder Hawk
Red-Shouldered Hawk

The big picture, taken when I first got out of the car, liking the tree but still not noticing the Hawk on the left:

Red Shoulder Hawk
Red-Shouldered Hawk Pair

I expected the Hawk would be long gone before I got any closer.

Good bye!

Red-Shouldered Hawk Flying Away

Red-shouldered Hawk

Perched over a boggy area at the edge of the swamp this Red-shouldered Hawk had just swooped in and seemed on high alert, probably looking for a meal.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

He spent a few minutes here studying the area then moved on without even trying to catch lunch.

Check out his talons, curved around that branch. This is how they squeeze their meals. (Turtle, It’s What’s For Lunch)

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

Turtle, It’s What’s For Lunch

I saw this Red-shouldered Hawk standing on the ground at the side of a pond and approached slowly. Other times I’ve seen them do this the bird was squeezing his next meal, but I didn’t see any food here.

Red-shouldered Hawk with Turtle
Red-shouldered Hawk with Turtle

Afterwards, when I zoomed in on what I thought was a tree root or Cypress knee, it turned out to be a turtle standing on its end.

Who knew a Red-shouldered Hawk could lift so much?He didn’t struggle at all and disappeared into the woods with his catch

Red-shouldered Hawk with Turtle
Red-shouldered Hawk with Turtle

I don’t know what made the hawk take off; I was standing still and the only human in view.

These were taken with the Sony Alpha 6500 which uses an electronic viewfinder, not the best arrangement for images of birds in flight due to the lag time.

Sony Alpha 6500, Sony 55-210 mm, at 210 mm.

Red-shouldered Hawk

There are a number of Red-shouldered Hawks around the swamps I frequent.  I often hear them call, and this day I finally spotted one on an open branch. I thought he was about to fly after displaying the rousing behavior.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

Instead he settled in and called some more. I’ve observed Red-shouldered Hawks make a lot of noise like this before when they appear to be hunting, as contrary as it seems. All potential prey should be driven into hiding.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

I moved to a vantage point on a perpendicular trail just in time to see him fly off.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

He didn’t go far and continued his calling.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk Portrait

I recently had the opportunity to photograph a Red-shouldered Hawk up close. He was on a tree branch next to the main path around my favorite pond and there were no sticks in front of his face! Ted and I were walking together and didn’t see the Hawk until we were quite close.

Red-shouldered HawkRed-shouldered Hawk – click image for larger view

The Hawk was unconcerned about our presence and after taking a few shots I continued on my way, turned back and got a profile head shot. It’s not much of a photograph with no background, but I thought it was interesting to see the feather and head detail.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk – click image for larger view

1/31/2018

Red-shouldered Hawk Lunching, Part 2

This is the tree the Red-shouldered Hawk first chose when he first left the open area with his frog lunch. He was much more protected than on the ground but I could tell he was still uneasy as at least two other Hawks were calling nearby.

Red-shouldered Hawk With Frog
Red-shouldered Hawk, frog parts can be seen hanging below the limb

He took to the air again and I thought I had seen the last of him. I turned the other way back towards the end of the pond to watch the herons and heard a kerfuffle of wings and squawking off to my right.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

I’m not quite sure what happened next as my view was obstructed, but soon the Hawk with the frog changed direction again. You can see a third Hawk in the tree in the background between the tail and wing of Hawk One below.

Red-shouldered Hawk Flying With Frog
Red-shouldered Hawk Flying With Frog – click image for larger view

He went on his way without being followed and presumably finished the frog in peace.

Red-shouldered Hawk Lunching, Part 1

I had been watching this Red-shouldered Hawk as he watched a low marshy area from a nearby branch. When he spotted lunch it was just a matter of seconds from branch to capture.

Red-shouldered Hawk Eating Frog
Red-shouldered Hawk Eating Frog

I was fortunate that he landed in a sunny spot several feet below where I stood giving me a good view.

Red-shouldered Hawk Eating Frog
Red-shouldered Hawk Eating Frog

He held his prey with both feet. When I developed the images I could see that lunch was a frog.

Red-shouldered Hawk Eating Frog
Red-shouldered Hawk Eating Frog

He ate little bits at a time, tearing pieces off with his beak. He changed directions several times with little hops. I could hear several other Red-shouldered Hawks not too far off and there was a small flock of Ibis about 10 feet away.

Red-shouldered Hawk Eating Frog
Red-shouldered Hawk Eating Frog

I doubt the Ibis would challenge a Hawk for a meal, but I’m sure other raptors would. After eating part of the frog the hawk re-arranged himself and his grip.

Red-shouldered Hawk Eating Frog
Red-shouldered Hawk Eating Frog

A minute later he flew up into a nearby more protected tree, then flew down the pond to a higher vantage point.

Click on any image for larger view.