I spotted this hawk while I was walking around the barnyard at Middleton Place. He was looking down at me, not much concerned by my presence.
I think this is a Red-shouldered Hawk, probably immature. I moved along and a few minutes later I was alerted that he did, too, as the pigeons that perch on the barn roof took to the air in a frenzy.
October 19, 2021
From my research the seed balls of the Sweet Gum (or Sweetgum, depending on where you read) tree should be empty of seeds by mid fall.
Clearly this tree didn’t follow the program and several Carolina Chickadees were feeding in its upper branches on this mid-January day.
The dried pod stems are still quite sturdy, although this little bird doesn’t weigh much at 0.3-0.4 ounces (8-12 g) per All About Birds.
If you’ve ever touched one of these balls you’ll likely remember; those spikes are quite sharp.
Fellow blogger Mike Powell has captured similar scenes in Virginia where there is overlap in both the tree and the bird, including his post Acrobatic Chickadee