Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Red-Shouldered Hawk

I recently had a neat experience with a pair of Red-Shouldered Hawks at what used to be a golf course near where I live.  The golf course (Kings Grant) shut down years ago and there has yet to be major redevelopment.  It's all in the courts I think. Meantime, nature is taking over, making a cool site for birders. 
I can't recall ever coming upon a pair of Hawks together like this.  What a handsome couple they make!  And so cute, sharing a perch like they are.
A little Hawk affection?

In the past I've had trouble telling the difference between the Red-Shouldered and Red-Tailed Hawks. But now I know the key to look for is the underparts/chest area.  The Red-Shouldered has the rust-red barring while the Red-Tailed has much more of a white belly (see my Red-Tailed Hawk posting)- and of course the distinctive red tail feathers. The Red-Shouldered Hawks rust coloration is more visible in this next photo.

These lovebirds found the perfect perch.
I have run a few times along North Charleston's new section of the Palmetto Commerce Parkway which includes a biker/hiker path.  Good job local planners!  Anyway, I've seen Red-Shouldered Hawks on each visit.  The next two photos were taken along that route. Always bring the camera cuz you never know...

Red-Shouldered and Red-Tailed Hawks-- both beautiful raptors and always a treat to see and, better yet, photograph. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Red-Tailed Hawk

 Stopped and got out of my car when I spotted this magnificent hawk atop a utility pole.  Fortunately the highway wasn't too busy and I was able to manuever around and get a few decent shots of a gorgeous bird with a with a brilliant blue sky behind it.
Red-Tailed Hawk- its distinctive red tail feathers visible in these photos taken in August 2010 at the Point Reyes National Seashore near San Francisco.
Closer to home...

Went back to September 2010 for these photos I took of a Red-Tailed Hawk at Charleston's Magnolia Cemetery.
Hawks are rare to come across at the cemetery. I've seen a few fly over but to encounter one on a fairly low branch was very exciting.
And this one didn't seem to mind the human attention.
I wasn't able to get a real good shot of its distinctive red tail feathers but you can see them a little bit in the shot below.
 Recently at the wonderful Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, I saw this Red-Tailed in the petting zoo.
A little sad to see it in captivity like this.
But it does give the public a unique chance to see--and better appreciate- such a beautiful and majestic creature.
A little fuzzy, but here's a Red-Tailed in flight. Shot this along the new part of the Palmetto Commerce Parkway in North Charleston.