Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Backyard Killer

This Spring, a pair of red-shouldered hawks moved into a redwood tree in next-door neighbor's backyard. The tree is right up against our back fence, so as the courtship progressed, we were able to hear them calling out to each other (red-shouldereds are very vocal raptors), and we could sometimes catch a glimpse of them as they flew into and out of their nest.

Predictably, a few weeks after the courtship, there were eggs. We knew this because a little while later, we could hear the little peepers as mom or dad came back with a choice tidbit for them. They've grown up and have fledged, now, so we don't hear their calls as much as before.

A couple of days ago, I spotted this little guy in our backyard and hollered to Mr. ShellHawk to grab the camera and take some pics. The light was fading, so of course, the camera didn't want to behave and focus properly, but you get the idea.
By the way, we know this is a juvenile because the colors of first-year birds differ from those of the adults. Our friend, who is a falconer, said that the parents probably caught something and gave it to this juvenile to eat.

I watched him silently as he stood there and ate on my back lawn. I couldn't help but be glad to be in my neighborhood, where I could watch Mother Nature at work from my bathroom window.


  1. How cool is that??? What a beautiful bird, and what a great opportunity you have to be able to observe these birds as they go about their business.
    Thanks for sharing the pictures!

  2. Wow, impressed! These are great pictures! Thanks for sharing.



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