The Return of the Red-tail
The Red-tailed Hawk was back today, and while I did not get nice sharp pictures like I did the last time it visited, I got some of it taking flight.
Hawks show so much variation in color patterns as they go from juveniles to adults, and also sometimes depending on what region they are in. This hawk kindly made sure to show me all the signs of the Eastern population of Red-Tail — the spotty white vee on its back, the leading dark edge on the front of its wing, the white throat, “vest” of brown spots, and red tail — in this young hawk, just growing in.
Pretty bird. In mid May I had a juvenile land in the oak tree by one of my bird feeders. He eventually flew to another tree; it was at that point I noted he was a juvenile as he teetered back and forth on the branch where he’d landed. His colors were rather muted and dull, nothing brilliant. Apparently he was on his first solo journey from the nest as I went out later that night just at dusk, and you could hear him close by calling for his “Mom”. In the distance you could hear (maybe Mom) talking back to him. Poor baby, guess he couldn’t figure his way back to the nest.
Isn’t it fun to read their behavior like that? You won’t find that behavior described in any bird book, I bet, since they are strapped for space, but you figured it out! I would love to see something like that. I’m happy when I notice that mockingbirds are mobbing a crow or something similar.