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A beautiful Red-tailed hawk

Category: Visitors in the garden | Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:20 pm

A very big first today...a Red-tailed hawk! I have never seen a hawk up close before today. I saw him swoop past the feeders and perch in a tree in the backyard. He had come through yesterday about the same time but I did not see him land. I grabbed the camera and ran outside with only socks on my feet and no jacket (it was 35f). There was still frost on the ground but I stayed out there until he left. I was on a mission. I kept inching closer, holding my breath so I would not scare him off.

Red-tailed hawk ( photo / image / picture from gfreiherr's Garden )

He had his back to me and then he turned and stared right at I know why the birds are so afraid of them. I just froze in place with my camera clicking. I was able to get a step or two closer before he took off. He looked even bigger when he spread his wings. I am just thankful he flew away rather than towards me! I am also glad my camera was in auto mode so I could get off some quick shots. I was suprised I could get as close as I did.

Red-tailed hawk ( photo / image / picture from gfreiherr's Garden )

Red-tailed hawk March 2010 ( photo / image / picture from gfreiherr's Garden )

The Red-tailed hawk is 19-25 inches from head to tail with a wingspan of up to 54 inches.

Taking off ( photo / image / picture from gfreiherr's Garden )

Later in the afternoon I saw him soaring overhead. Just gliding around a enjoying a sunny day.

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eileen wrote on Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:28 pm:

WOW what unbelievably clear close-ups!! I wouldn't like to be a small bird with that steely gaze trained on me.
I hope you didn't get frost bite while taking your piccies.


daisybeans wrote on Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:37 pm:

Wowee! That's awesome! Really Gail!


Sjoerd wrote on Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:50 am:

What a wonderful series of that majestic bird.
I could look at him for hours.


Kay wrote on Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:55 am:

Oh Gosh! He kinda scares me just seeing him in pictures! I'll bet the other birds were quietly hiding! You sure do a great job of photography!


gfreiherr wrote on Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:47 am:

Appreciate all your comments. I was so excited to see the hawk so close. He was about 15 feet up in the tree and I got within 15 feet of that tree. When he turned his head and made eye contact, it was sort of scarey. I was glad I was seeing him through the viewfinder.


Accidental Gardener wrote on Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:08 am:

Last month I saw a raptor presentation, a husband and wife team from Chattanooga had everything from a bald eagle to a vulture. They had a red tailed hawk fly over the seated crowed just a few inches above our heads. Great show! Then last week I was sitting in my sunroom watching a feeding frenzy at my feeder when all of a sudden every bird just took flight and not a single one flew over the lake as many normally do. A minute later a red tailed hawk alit in my birch tree 15 feet away and began surveying the area. What a magnificent bird he was. I went for my camera but he was gone when I returned. I see them soaring over the water and woods but never had one land while I was watching. Great pictures Gail.

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