Monday, November 28, 2011

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk in Cottonwood tree
Red-tailed Hawk in morning sun
I spied a large Red-tailed Hawk when it perched on a cottonwood tree out in front of our home yesterday morning.  At first it was hard to tell whether it was a hawk or an owl, given its large size and coloring.

After 5-10 minutes of taking shots of this handsome raptor it flew off to another side of the pond.  I hiked over to see if I could find it again.  Turns out this wasn't hard, since a small flock of crows were gathered in trees around it, and were kicking up a ruckus.  Seems they wanted to let the whole neighborhood know about this potential danger.

Mink on the run 
When it flew across a stream I once again had to hike and track it down.  While hiking across a walking bridge I spotted a mink lumbering over the frozen stream.  I'm thinking that might have been one of the reasons this hawk picked a nearby limb for its perch.

I was surprised that the hawk allowed me to get within about 10 yards or so, while it watched for prey below.  It didn't seem put off by my encroachment in the least, and rarely even glanced my way.  I did however catch a glance in the photo above right. Note the 180 degree head swivel for this stare.

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