Friday, February 5, 2010

Beauty and the beastie...

Here's the beauty...
This little female Northern Cardinal was so pretty in the snow as she rooted around looking for breadcrumbs.

...and then she tilted her head and gave me that sweet expression--totally melting my heart...

And here's the beastie...
Not really...he's one of the most majestic and beautiful birds that visit my backyard. I always look twice when I see our hawks zipping in and out of branches as they try to nab one of the feeder birds.

...or when I walk into the kitchen and see him sitting in the half-dead weeping willow, seemingly looking right in on me. He hears me every time I click that camera. I don't think he approves. You'd think he would be used to it by now...

Beastie forgives me as he goes back to looking for his lunch.

Juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk
At first I assumed this guy was a juvenile Cooper's Hawk because we have a lot of adult Cooper's Hawks in our area, but he's a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk! I was just now looking out the window, and a juvenile Cooper's Hawk flew up. His tale had wide bars in it--a definite difference. This fellow's tail has small bars. He would be our first ever juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk! Yeah!!! Last winter, we had an adult Red-shouldered Hawk fly in our yard twice, once on January 17, 2009 and again on January 26, 2009. Maybe this is an offspring of that bird. Exciting!! Thanks Roy (from Roy's World) for mentioning the tail...and thanks Mike (from Everybody Funny) for corroborating!

Hot off the press...this Cooper's Hawk just landed in the backyard. Look at those wide bars in his long tail.

Weather Report...
It's snowing like crazy here. We may get up to 8 inches! I hope so. If we do I'll be out tromping around with my camera tomorrow. There's nothing like fresh fallen snow. (We did get snow through the night--about 5 or 6 inches of it. Rick is outside shoveling now. I'm getting ready to put on my snow gear and head to the Little Miami River. I love snow!!)

34 comments:

holdingmoments said...

Beauty and the beast.....both stunners Kelly.
That first shot of the Northern Cardinal is a beauty.
And what a stare in the second of the Cooper's Hawk. Intense.

Midmarsh John said...

Two great sets of photos. Little birds do look so sweet when they tilt their heads as in the 2nd shot of the Cardinal. Larger birds always seem to have such a stern look when gazing straight at the camera.

Toni said...

you must have a great lens to get the close up shots. beautiful!
I have not seen my resident beast (Cooper Hawk)in weeks.

Roy said...

Lovely shots of the Cardinal Kelly. The Hawk fancies himself as a bit of a model posing for your shots.

Felicia said...

Your beastie looks quite fluffed up; I suppose he's trying to keep warm until his next meal. Stay safe in the storm and get lots more good shots!

Caroline said...

What beautiful shots - can't believe you're still expecting so much snow!

Jayne said...

When I shot the photos of the Red-shouldered enjoying the dove, I don't think I even would have photographed him if it had been a Cardinal or another songbird. I figure there are so many Doves, and well, they are slow and good targets. I'd have been crestfallen if I'd seen otherwise. Beautiful shots of both Kelly.

Phil and Mandy said...

You have some stunning photos there Kelly.

Kathy A. Johnson said...

As usual, stunning shots. That's the first time I've seen a female cardinal that close-up. Enjoy the snow!

Roy said...

Great shots, Kelly! But are you sure that hawk is a Cooper's? I know it's an immature, but still, even for an immature Cooper's that tail doesn't seem long enough. Plus the barring on the tail is too close together and not enough contrast between the two colors for a Cooper's. And the build is so stocky. I'd be more inclined to think this was an immature Red-tail (the red tail of the name wouldn't come about until the Summer molt) if I could get an idea of the size.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I was wondering how much snow you were going to get, Kelly. Be careful out there--but take lots of pictures for me!!!

I love the female Cardinals. They are beauties... AND--so are the hawks, as long as they don't have some of our Mourning Doves for lunch... ha

We have a little more snow here this morning--just a dusting but pretty.
Hugs,
Betsy

Montanagirl said...

Stunning photos as always. That female Cardinal is so pretty. Love that new snowfall too.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I love the beauty...and the beast does scare me a bit!
Stay warm today!

Kelly said...

Roy.....you know, I hadn't even thought of that. We have adult Cooper's in the backyard all the time, and immatures too. Last year we had an adult red-shouldered hawk in our backyard once. I'll start watching a little closer. I just assumed we were too suburban for immature red-shouldereds. He was really puffed up here....I wonder if it was just his pose that made him look stocky. I'll look into it. Thanks!!

Kyna said...

The beastie has eyes that can bore through your soul! O_O

Beautiful pics though. Love the female cardinal...

Phil said...

Super shots Kelly. I just love that Cardinal but they are both beautiful.

ShySongbird said...

And what a beauty the Cardinal is! But so is the Beastie :) What a magnificent creature. The Cardinal really does look beautiful against the snow.

JeniQ said...

Awesome pictures Kelly.. Enjoy the snow!!

Warren Baker said...

What a contrast! Both are super birds though. Well done with the photo's - very nice

Chris said...

Hi Kelly,
I love your beauty and beast! They are so cute and different! Gorgeous shots of them you got ;-)

Carol Mattingly said...

Kelly, we got about an inch or an inch and a half last night. That was it. Didn't really cover the top of the stalks of grass. But it did cling to everything because it was so wet. Loved it. Loved your photos and the story. Talk to you soon. Carol

E said...

Great pics, good timing, lovely colors and details, congrats, Kelita. Hugs

Elaine said...

Beautiful shots! Enjoy your day in the snow.

JKoenig said...

Loved ALL the pictures, Kelly. It appears that the female cardinal has drawn on red eyebrows. I've never noticed that before....definitely a feminine trait!

Mary said...

He's a beauty, too, but I hope he doesn't get Mrs. Cardinal! She looked so lovely and peaceful there.

Hilke Breder said...

Kelly, these are amazing shots of a juvi Red-shouldered Hawk! What a ferocious expression! The bird is much darker than the ones I had seen in Florida (a life bird for me)

Dave Lewis said...

Wow, you're getting more snow than me!
I love it when the hawks come in for a visit...great shots Peanut!

oldcrow61 said...

The beauty is truly beautiful, but the beastie is fantastically handsome. Gorgeous shots.

Sherry and Russ Sutherby said...

Absolutely stunning and aptly named post. Thank you for sharing your talent.

Heather said...

These hawk photos are amazing, Kelly! Believe it or not, I see very few hawks here in our woods. Perhaps all our trees make for difficult maneuvering for them. We got about 6" of snow here. I was hoping for more, but I think we would have lost power for sure if we had gotten more, so... It is so beautiful, though. We went for a nice tromp in the snow today.

Kelly said...

...thank you for the kind words. It's amazing how a hawk just draws attention. It is a powerful bird and those eyes are so commanding. Sounds like we all feel the same. As for cute little Miss Red...sweet seems to be the only word that fits. I do love her little red eyebrows too!

dAwN said...

ok..tweeted! am i am just loving these shots!!!!!!!!!! You are the Queen of the camera and artist eye.

Kerri said...

Your shots are amazing! And your beastie is certainly majestic! WOW!!

Cherrie said...

The Northern Cardinal is beautiful! The only cardinals I see here in southern Arizona is the Phoenix Cardinals! lol