Monday, January 24, 2011

Beauteous Buteo

I walked into the kitchen Saturday to find a new species of hawk sitting in our half-dead weeping willow tree, Buteo jamaicensis--the Red-tailed Hawk! Compared to the Cooper's or even Red-shouldered Hawks that often perch there, this bird was a monster.

The beautiful rusty red tail of the Red-tailed Hawk was visible from the kitchen. He sat about eye level from me on the most "popular" hawk perch in the tree.

This is the view from our kitchen door. When I walked into the kitchen, I gasped and ran for the camera, thinking "Oh my gosh...that hawk is big!" When Rick came in a few minutes later, he found me standing on the back of the living room chair photographing him through the window and shouted, "Holy Cow! There's a dog in the tree!" (I laughed so hard I almost fell off the chair. Rick is always funny...)

The dog in the tree surveys his territory. We're used to Cooper's Hawks perching here and are familiar with their size. I didn't realize how much larger Red-tailed Hawks were.

Mild irritation seems to be showing on our Red-tailed Hawk's face. He's probably thinking "...enough with the photos, Chicky. Move along..."

"I SAID...enough with the photos...move along!"
"Okay, okay! I'm putting the camera down and am stepping away from the window..."

I wouldn't look so tough if I were you, Mr. Starling. Look who's sitting behind you just above your left shoulder...

31 comments:

Laure Ferlita said...

AWESOME photos!! Love the ones with him glowering at you!

Laure Ferlita said...

Yay! Can't believe I got to be first on this fabulous post!!

Kelly said...

...you were fast Laure! We'll have to call you "Quick Draw!" (Get it? Laure's an artist....hehe.)

Montanagirl said...

Fabulous photos of the Hawk, Kelly. Love that Starling shot too. Wonderful!

grammie g said...

Hi Kelly...I wouldn't want to be in your way...
What fantastic photos...and did you ever get the evil eye look!!
Good way to start the week!!

Jain said...

Great pics! You must keep your windows very clean to be able to photograph through them! :o)
(As soon as mine are washed, they're littered with poor Mourning Dove feathers soon thereafter.)

Red-tails are beautiful birds and under-appreciated, I think, because they're so common.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Woooo---that is one huge hawk... I've never seen one that large... That Starling had better watch out... Mr. Hawk could swallow him in one gulp....

Great pictures, Kelly.
Hugs,
Betsy

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Amazing photos! I have to say that Red-tail is fhe prettiest I've ever seen.

Ginnymo said...

Wow!! Beautiful photos Kelly!! That Hawk is such a pretty bird!

Margaret Bednar said...

I laughed so hard when I read "There's a dog in the tree" The whole post was enjoyable. And I love your joke "Quick Draw" for Laure. :)

holdingmoments said...

What a bird!
That is quite a stare he's giving you Kelly. Excellent shots as always.

Jayne said...

LOL! That's so funny Kelly! Wonderful shots, esp. of his gorgeous red tail feathers!

Caroline said...

I'm always amazed at the fabulous birds you have in your garden! So wonderful to see the detail of the hawk like that - and that shiny puffed up starling is terrific!

The Early Birder said...

WHOW ... superb feather details.

Standing on a chair photographing a dog in a tree ... now that conjours up a picture .. lol.

Andrea said...

I think he was a bit of a poser!
I had the luck of seeing one 6 feet from me on the ground too busy with a struggling gray squirrel in his talons to even notice I had stopped my bike to watch.

Wanda..... said...

Nobody Does It Better...than you, Kelly!

Modesto Viegas said...

Well done!

forgetmenot said...

Always amazed and in awe of your photos every time I check into your blog. Mickie :)

Roy said...

"Dont make me angry, you wouldn't like me if I was angry." {:)
I do like the second shot best Kelly.

Janice K said...

What a neat, funny post. Thanks for brightening my day!

E said...

Beautiful, great shots, Kelly, Iove the hawks, well done. Many hugs to all.

Kerri said...

WOW! These are AWESOME!

Chad said...

Nice pictures and very funny! I love the last picture of the Starling and your comment!

Abraham Lincoln said...

Gosh, what a beautiful set of photos. I have never seen one up close enough to photograph so this post is a real treat for me. And in all the years I have lived here I have only seen one starling taken by the hawks we get. More mourning doves than anything else.

Maybe the taste of the starling meat tastes like dark chocolate to them and they only like light colored chocolate. Right now we have a flock of starlings that hang around. They ate every last one of the little crab apples on the neighbor's tree and on our tree.

Patty has been trying to fill them up with cheap dog food she got at the grain elevator. And it works. They load up on that and leave the sunflower seeds.

troutbirder said...

Wow! Those are wonderful pictures Kelly. It's funny how this all works. I see dozens of red tails all winter long, an occasional Bald Eagle (once rare) and thats it. Ooops. I forgot ONE rough legged.

Kelly said...

..thanks, everyone! I have seen this fellow showing up at work now (I only live 2 minutes from the office). He is huge and can be seen swooping into a tree near the golf course at the back of the building. I've had so many people come up and ask me about him. What is that? Is it a hawk? What kind of hawk? Have you seen the huge hawk? At least 8 people have asked me about him in the last week. I wonder if we will see more of him in the back yard?

Kelly said...

...Abe...interesting thought about what to feed the starlings. I might have to give that a try!

Kelly said...

p.s. My windows are not clean at all, jain! Thank goodness the camera ignores the smears and shoots past them!! :-)

Elaine said...

Fantastic! I don't think I have ever seen a dog in a tree before......

oldcrow61 said...

What a gorgeous bird. Wonderful shots.

Steve Borichevsky said...

Nice Shooting!