|Pair of Red Tailed Hawks|
Then I recalled that I told my brother when I left, that my goal for the day was to try to catch sight of some different hawks. Well the joke is rooted in the fact that I did see different hawks, but only in so far as individuals of the same species are concerned. I had no grounds for disappointment, the hawks I did see, presented me with an awesome surprise after all. Here is how it came about.
|Screaming Red Tail|
Although I hadn't intended to go to the nest site itself, when I arrived, I was both surprised and puzzled to find the Red Tailed hawks still in residence. Even more surprising was the fact that the adults were still clearly protecting the site, by flying over me, performing mock stoops and screaming. There had to be a reason and so I started looking around a little more closely. The nearer I got to the nest itself, the more agitated the adults became and then I heard the unmistakable sound of a hungry or distressed juvenile hawk, over the screams of the adults.
|Juvenile Red Tailed Hawk|
|Second Juvenile Red Tail|
|Adult Red Tail Coming out of a stoop|
Again I was surprised. Instead of calming down and settling on a tree top to keep and eye on me like they usually do, the adult hawks kept up their aggressive/defensive behavior. It was then that I spotted another large hawk some several hundred yards from the nest, perched at the very top of a tree. Thinking it was another species of hawk altogether which was causing the Red Tailed hawks' continued agitation, I headed that way.
The adults kept circling back and forth between the juvenile that I had spotted and the second hawk in the distance, while continuing their flyover of me. Again I was puzzled, until I realized that the hawk in the distance was yet another juvenile. This one was the larger of the two juveniles and so clearly a female. Going with the assumption that these juveniles have only recently become fully fledged, I left the area, since it became very obvious that my presence caused these beautiful raptors too much distress.
Even though in doing so I missed the opportunity to get some photos of those other birds, all in all it was an extremely lucky bird watch for me. My lesson for the day? Gratitude!
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