Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)

Raptors, and especially hawks, fascinate me.  They soar majestically in the skies and sometimes nearer to the ground in their hunt for prey.  I watch in awe as they alight in tree-tops or on the ground.

This photo of a Red-shouldered Hawk gives me mixed feelings.  It and another one have started nesting on Dan Brown’s ranch near Christoval.  I had photographed one of them earlier.  In it, he is majestically resting on a tree branch staring intently at me as I took his photo.  This image is the second one below, and a print of it is framed and hanging above Dan Brown’s mantel.

But I have a certain un-easiness with the first photograph.  Indeed I am proud of the image, as it shows the hawk contemplating his dinner.  But, ethically, I don’t really approve of the way I got the job done.  You see, it was “staged”.  Dan Brown wants the hawks to stay longer, so he has taken to feeding the hawks, by throwing meat out for it.  In this photo, one of Dan’s help threw the snack so I get this great photograph.

I usually abstain from doing this, as I would rather get my pictures by catching these wild creatures doing things naturally.  I wouldn’t take pictures of animals or birds in a zoo and use them for publication.  But in this case, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the bird.  Of course, this is a wild bird, at least for now.  I would hate to see it get too used to humans.

Contemplating Dinner

Red-shouldered Hawk

Enjoy the photos, and as usual, click on either image to see and enlargement.

Happy Birding!