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. 

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