Red-shouldered Hawk

I recently had the experience of seeing a Red-shouldered Hawk  (Buteo limeatus) sitting on the nest.  Later I saw him swoop down to get to a piece of raw meat on the ground.  This took place at Dan Brown’s Hummer House and bird refuge.  Dan, himself, tossed out the meat.  I was on hand with my Canon 7d with a 500mm lens, attached to a Manfrotto tripod.  My goal was to photograph the hawk as he grabbed the meat.  I was a little slow, or the bird was very, very fast.  Take your pick.  I prefer to say that he was just too fast for me. 🙂

Feeding Red-Shouldered Hawk

Anyway I missed the shot, but I did get a nice image of him feeding on the meat.   Sibley’s describes the Red-shouldered Hawk as a small forest buteo, usually found near water, hunts mainly mammals, some reptiles and amphibians from perches.  It is rather compact, stocky, and accipiter-like with relatively short, broad wings; all show translucent pale crescent across wingtips.  It has a noticeable red area on the shoulders.  This next photo shows him sitting on a tree branch.

Red-shouldered Hawk

On an earlier trip to the Davis Mountains, we spotted this next one in an open field, watching for a meal.

Red-shouldered Hawk

Enjoy the photos and click on any of them to see an enlargement.

In other news, Suzanne and Sid Johnson, of  Eldorado, Texas were fortunate to see a Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens) near the south entrance to San Angelo State Park on Saturday, January 8.   Dr. Terry Maxwell of Angelo State University, stated there has only been around eight sightings of that species in this area in the past half-century.   Naturally, I have been on the watch since then to try to get a glimpse of it myself.  So far, my search has been in vain.

Happy Birding

Another Red-tailed Hawk

I can’t help it.  Whenever I see one of these majestic beauties, I just have to photograph it.  This one was at San Angelo State Park, perched atop a mesquite tree.  I was out there alone because Ann was ailing and didn’t want to come.  I was driving around slowly when i spotted him.  As usual, I had my Canon 7D on my lap all prepared with my Canon 100-400mm lens attached.  I was about 100 yards away when I first saw him.  He spotted me, or something else, and started to fly.  I got my focusing point locked on to him and this is one of the ensuing images.  ISO 100, Shutter priority, 1/640 at f11, minus 1/3 EV.  Click image for an enlargement.  Enjoy

Red-tailed Hawk

Hawks, Hawks, Hawks!

To me  there is hardly anything more beautiful than a hawk soaring through the air, on the hunt for prey.  I love to photograph them on the wing whenever possible.  But I take what I can get.  For example the Zone-tailed Hawk pictured here was perched in the rain, getting soaking wet.  That was the first one I had ever seen and that, of course, is the only photograph that I have, and I was lucky to get it, as it flew away seconds after I took the shot.  The Zone-tailed Hawk is often mistaken for a vulture because of it’s slouching posture when perching and it’s similar flying habits.

wet Zone-tailed Hawk

I have something new for my blog posts now.  When I am discussing subjects, such as  birds, animals, flowers, etc., I can assign a link, if one is available, to them as in the paragraph above.  If you click on any of those links, they will take to you to more in-depth articles.  So today I am going to show you some of my hawk photographs. 

First up is a Red-shouldered Hawk that I photographed at the Hummer House near Christoval, Texas.  Dan Brown, the owner, had put some meat out for it, and after devouring it, the bird perched in the tree.

Red-shouldered Hawk

 The following is a Northern Harrier that I photographed at San Angelo StatePark.  It was doing it’s usual thing, of flying low over the mesquite and brush.  Again it didn’t come close enough to me to get a great picture, but the image that I did get shows the distinct white wide stripe on the lower back and tail.

Northern Harrier

The Cooper’s Hawk and Sharp-shinned Hawk are very similar in appearance except that the Coopers is about 5 inches taller.  Other than that, they both are long-tailed and short-winged, and are agile in maneuvering to catch their prey. These two photos were both taken at San Angelo State Park.

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Cooper's Hawk

One of the larger buteo hawks is the Swainson’s Hawk.  This one was perched on the cross-bar of a utility pole outside the entrance to San Angelo State Park.

Swainson's Hawk

The buteo to which all other hawks are compared is the Red-tailed Hawk.  Similar in size to the Swainson’s hawk but very conspicuous with the red tail.  This is one that I was lucky enough to catch in flight, and one of my personal favorites.

Red-tailed Hawk

I hope you have enjoyed todays photos.  Click on any image to see an enlargement.