Friendly Neighborhood Red-Shouldered Hawk

Joined
Dec 2, 2014
Messages
6,492
Location
Knoxville, TN
For the last couple years we have had a pair of Red-Shouldered hawks spend a good amount of time in our yard. Last year they appeared to have raised a youngster.

The more mature hawk has become a bit more friendly and comfortable with us around. Last night they were the boldest we had ever seen them. My wife and I were out in the yard working on a flower bed. We were having a regular conversation and even hammering stakes into the ground. Then all of a sudden the hawk landed in the yard, not even 30 feet from us.

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They pecked and scatched around in the grass for a good five minutes. We have no idea what they saw, but they were very interested in something. Then they took off and landed in a tree in our back yard.

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They spent a few more minutes hanging out and being harassed by a pair of mockingbirds. Eventually they swooped at our neighbors shed, grabbed something and flew into another tree a bit further away. It was there that we watched it feed on what we figure was a gray tree frog. The shot isn't so good, the lighting was not great and the distance was a bit much for the lens. However, you can just make out two frog legs spread out with entrails dangling in between. (over on Flickr)

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We went back to our work as the hawk flew off deeper into the trees.

Awhile later I was making an instagram post from one of the images when they came back to the original spot in the yard. I still don't know what was so interesting there.

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Again it pecked about for a few minutes, then hopped up to the fence nearby.

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We spent a few minutes sizing each other up. I hope they understood how much I appreciated the chance to get such a good look. An absolutely stunning bird!

Then, as if understanding, they flew up to the powerline that was still in full evening sun. This allowed me to get a few more portraits with the warm light. Notice the nictitating membrane in the last one.

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I have a feeling that there will be many more opportunities to capture shots of this beauty.
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
174
For the last couple years we have had a pair of Red-Shouldered hawks spend a good amount of time in our yard. Last year they appeared to have raised a youngster.

The more mature hawk has become a bit more friendly and comfortable with us around. Last night they were the boldest we had ever seen them. My wife and I were out in the yard working on a flower bed. We were having a regular conversation and even hammering stakes into the ground. Then all of a sudden the hawk landed in the yard, not even 30 feet from us.

View attachment 880199

They pecked and scatched around in the grass for a good five minutes. We have no idea what they saw, but they were very interested in something. Then they took off and landed in a tree in our back yard.

View attachment 880200

They spent a few more minutes hanging out and being harassed by a pair of mockingbirds. Eventually they swooped at our neighbors shed, grabbed something and flew into another tree a bit further away. It was there that we watched it feed on what we figure was a gray tree frog. The shot isn't so good, the lighting was not great and the distance was a bit much for the lens. However, you can just make out two frog legs spread out with entrails dangling in between. (over on Flickr)

View attachment 880201

We went back to our work as the hawk flew off deeper into the trees.

Awhile later I was making an instagram post from one of the images when they came back to the original spot in the yard. I still don't know what was so interesting there.

View attachment 880202

Again it pecked about for a few minutes, then hopped up to the fence nearby.

View attachment 880203

We spent a few minutes sizing each other up. I hope they understood how much I appreciated the chance to get such a good look. An absolutely stunning bird!

Then, as if understanding, they flew up to the powerline that was still in full evening sun. This allowed me to get a few more portraits with the warm light. Notice the nictitating membrane in the last one.

View attachment 880204

View attachment 880205

View attachment 880206

I have a feeling that there will be many more opportunities to capture shots of this beauty.
Nice pictures. Red-shouldered hawks have become one of my favorites for their activity and beauty. Looking forward to more pics.
 

Zman

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Oct 11, 2016
Messages
747
For the last couple years we have had a pair of Red-Shouldered hawks spend a good amount of time in our yard. Last year they appeared to have raised a youngster.

The more mature hawk has become a bit more friendly and comfortable with us around. Last night they were the boldest we had ever seen them. My wife and I were out in the yard working on a flower bed. We were having a regular conversation and even hammering stakes into the ground. Then all of a sudden the hawk landed in the yard, not even 30 feet from us.

View attachment 880199

They pecked and scatched around in the grass for a good five minutes. We have no idea what they saw, but they were very interested in something. Then they took off and landed in a tree in our back yard.

View attachment 880200

They spent a few more minutes hanging out and being harassed by a pair of mockingbirds. Eventually they swooped at our neighbors shed, grabbed something and flew into another tree a bit further away. It was there that we watched it feed on what we figure was a gray tree frog. The shot isn't so good, the lighting was not great and the distance was a bit much for the lens. However, you can just make out two frog legs spread out with entrails dangling in between. (over on Flickr)

View attachment 880201

We went back to our work as the hawk flew off deeper into the trees.

Awhile later I was making an instagram post from one of the images when they came back to the original spot in the yard. I still don't know what was so interesting there.

View attachment 880202

Again it pecked about for a few minutes, then hopped up to the fence nearby.

View attachment 880203

We spent a few minutes sizing each other up. I hope they understood how much I appreciated the chance to get such a good look. An absolutely stunning bird!

Then, as if understanding, they flew up to the powerline that was still in full evening sun. This allowed me to get a few more portraits with the warm light. Notice the nictitating membrane in the last one.

View attachment 880204

View attachment 880205

View attachment 880206

I have a feeling that there will be many more opportunities to capture shots of this beauty.
Nice pictures. Beautiful bird. So nice when they cooperate.
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2014
Messages
6,492
Location
Knoxville, TN
I didn’t have my camera with me today when I saw the Hawk from those images bring a snake to its partner.

I might need to camp out in a blind in the backyard to catch them together again.
 

Apollo T.

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Dec 27, 2016
Messages
729
Location
New Jersey
@TNcasual
Really terrif images. I especially like the one standing on the top rail of the fence. It's bokehlicious with a wonderful background- plain and darkish- subject really stands out.
If you were able to capture these, hand held I pressume, without a blind why would you need one for your next adventure(s)?
 
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
874
Location
Tasmania
@TNcasual
I'd second the comment re the blind.
You've obviously built up a rapport with them and that's only going to improve.
I've done that with a family of Tasmanian Native Hen here and I can sit with them whilst they feed around me.
I'd encourage that continued building of trust, no rapid movement and they'll get to be even more comfortable with your presence.
I also talk to them so if they hear me coming they know "oh, it's only him" 😊
Might sound silly but it works
They're beautiful birds and you're very priveleged.

I could see a blind being a hindrance more than a help
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2014
Messages
6,492
Location
Knoxville, TN
@TNcasual
Really terrif images. I especially like the one standing on the top rail of the fence. It's bokehlicious with a wonderful background- plain and darkish- subject really stands out.
If you were able to capture these, hand held I pressume, without a blind why would you need one for your next adventure(s)?

@TNcasual
I'd second the comment re the blind.
You've obviously built up a rapport with them and that's only going to improve.
I've done that with a family of Tasmanian Native Hen here and I can sit with them whilst they feed around me.
I'd encourage that continued building of trust, no rapid movement and they'll get to be even more comfortable with your presence.
I also talk to them so if they hear me coming they know "oh, it's only him" 😊
Might sound silly but it works
They're beautiful birds and you're very priveleged.

I could see a blind being a hindrance more than a help

I was joking about the blind. The hawks are friendly enough that I could sit in the backyard and they will still come by. That is if the crows or mockingbirds aren't being too much of a pest.

Yes, they above shots were handheld, although for some I was prone and others leaned up against the car.
 

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