Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Radiant Resident Red-tailed Hawk

There is a more expansive view of forest, fields and gardens for the Red-tailed hawk, now that the trees have signaled their cloaks of leaves to fall. This young buteo has claimed it's territory and I wholeheartedly welcome it. I sighted him as he flew up into the naked limbs of the old Rock Maple next to the house and quickly reached for my camera. You can see him in the photograph above . . . high up in the branches viewing the land he considers his own. I envy his view! He must sense my fondness towards him or at least that I am not a threat, for he remains perched  for quite a few minutes allowing me to take these portraits. I am certain he heard me open the door and can clearly see me standing and holding an odd black object aimed in his direction. Most often hawks are very shy and fly off right away once eyeing me. I assume from my long chat with this handsome fellow that he was raised here and perhaps has accepted me as part of the landscape. He seems to be astutely alert and fully in the moment eyeing me with an uncanny awareness of my presence.

I was quite animated at times in my conversation with him. He (I realize he could be a she) did change his head position a bit, when I suggested he fly. I hope he did not misunderstand, for I only  wanted to capture his flight, before I myself had to take leave of this place. He did linger several minutes until finally moving on. I watched him leap into his dive, fly and soar away on his beautiful broad rounded wings and wished him many hearty meals of field mice, rabbits and voles. It is good to share in the stewardship of the land with such a noble colleague. You can see other shots of this mighty buteo taken earlier this year here  (just keep scrolling down and you will see the older posts). Could it be the same one? Or are the earlier ones the parents of this seemingly younger raptor. I have read that the oldest "known" Red-tailed hawk lived to be nearly 29 years old.  Just about the age of my son. The link above will also take you back into spring for a bit... a time we will all be longing for soon enough. This Birder Link will take you to other great bird sites.

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