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Posts Tagged ‘juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk’

I spotted this juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) on Monday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge as it perched high in a distant tree. It was cold and breezy, so I kept one of my hands inside the pouch of my hooded sweatshirt much of the time. Similarly the hawk appeared to be trying to stay warm by tucking one of its feet inside its puffed out feathers with only the tips of his talons exposed.

The hawk was very alert and soon sensed my presence and flew a short distance to a tree a little farther away. It perched there for only a few moments before it took off again and I was able to capture the second shot below. I was pretty lucky with the timing of the shot, because I managed to capture a relatively clear view of the hawk’s head in between the the branches of the tree. Serendipitously I also captured a tiny branch in midair that had been dislodged as the hawk pushed away from the branch—you may need to enlarge the photo to see the branch, but it is in the lower left-hand corner of the image.

I am pretty sure this is a Red-shouldered Hawk, but identification is sometimes a little tricky for me with immature birds. Earlier this season, for example, I spotted an immature Cooper’s Hawk that had markings similar to this hawk.  However that hawk seemed to have longer tail feathers and a slimmer body than this one. Here is a link to that 3 November 2021 posting entitles Cooper’s Hawk (immature), in case you want to do your own visual comparison between the two hawks.

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

 

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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This young Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) stared down at me with curiosity and interest yesterday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge and stayed in place even when I passed almost directly beneath it. In my experience, younger birds are more likely than adults to hang around as I approach. As they grow older, I suspect, they rightly come to view humans as potential predators.

Red-shouldered Hawk

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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