After finishing the Mound Trail loop, I walked up the gravel road toward the Twin Mounds, and there, across the street in a large tree at the forest's edge sat a Red-shouldered Hawk. He was beautiful, and his red shoulder patches really stood out.
This gorgeous Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) was perched near the second mound across the street. He surveyed the land, keeping watch with a sharp eye.
I stood there and watched him. Eventually, he grew bored, or maybe suspicious of me, and flew to the tree closest to the second mound. He was beautiful in flight, and although not the best or sharpest photos, they show his lovely field marks fairly well.
Look at that flash of rusty red on his shoulder. I always love to see that field mark, and the narrow white bands on his tail feathers.
I don't get to see Red-shouldered Hawks quite as often as I do Cooper's or Red-tailed Hawks, so I always stop and watch them for as long as I can. I love the stockiness of this bird and his shorter tail.
...underneath, the contrast of the black and white striped wings and tail with the pale orange wash of bars on his chest and belly, always catches my eye.
Last winter we had a Red-shouldered Hawk drop in for a bite twice. Click here for those accounts. I wonder if we will see him again this winter?
The second mound of the Twin Mounds.
I'm going to have to do a few more posts on Ft. Ancient to talk about the mounds and show more shots of them. It's amazing to me to know this mound was built over 2000 years ago... We're so lucky it still remains.