A fun little slideshow of a very cool raptor enjoying a meal recently. This hawk had caught its prey in a field and then was kind enough to eat it – whole – right in front of me. Awesome! Taken in Weld County, Colorado.
A very fun encounter with this raptor recently. Driving down a dirt road I see this Red-tailed Hawk dive down from a pole and clearly grab something. I come to a stop and it soon takes off with a mouse firmly in its talons. It circled around giving me a great flyby showing its meal then moved to a second and then a third pole before devouring its meal whole. Taken in Weld County, Colorado.
The soft light of the rising sun and the dramatic fall skies in the background really make this one a personal favorite. This is Karma, a captive bird, used for falconry and education. When my son and I had the opportunity to photograph it at an organized photoshoot last year, we jumped at the chance. It was quite a show and allowed us to get up close and personal with this hawk.
Found across all of North America, Red-tailed Hawks are probably the most common hawk you will see. They are oftentimes perched on poles in rural areas but have adapted well to suburban and urban settings as well.
These hawks are very common on the Great Plains and, honestly, a lot of times I don’t give them a second look. However, when I saw this light morph juvenile I felt compelled to take its picture. It was beautifully colored and tolerated my presence. Unfortunately I blew the ‘launch shot’ but got some nice pics of it sitting, even if on a pole.
As I continue sorting through pics from the past year, I come across some cool ones that I haven’t shared before. This is one from back in April and taken near Denver International Airport. The young raptor was keeping close watch over a field, looking for a meal.
Found across all of North America, Red Tailed Hawks are probably the most common hawk you will see. They are oftentimes perched on poles in rural areas but have adapted well to suburban and urban settings as well.
However gruesome it might be, scenes like this are played out routinely in Mother Nature. The relationship between predator and prey is a life-sustaining action and necessary to maintain diversity in the ecosystem. While one life ends, another continues and is renewed. Taken back in January, these images show a Red-tailed Hawk as it devours a rabbit that it had killed in a field.
A rather dramatic image of this raptor as it banks hard right. I saw this hawk perched on the plains and stopped to snap its picture. It had other plans however and immediately launched into the air, seemingly unaware of the strong east winds that were blowing. As it pushed off the ground and extended its wings, the wind turned those wings into sails and seemed to almost cause the hawk to flip over. It did recover but did not look particularly graceful in the process.
I was actually looking for owls when I came across this pair of raptors. There was no nest in sight but they sure did not seem to appreciate me being around so I snapped some quick pics and retreated. Skies were overcast so not the prettiest of backgrounds but the birds themselves looked gorgeous. Taken in Thornton, Colorado.
From the smallest falcon to the biggest eagle, raptors are fierce and aggressive predators. Their weapon of choice, their talons, are able to put a vise-like grip on their prey, ripping and puncturing as they sink in. If you ever get a chance to see one up close, you can’t help but be struck by these meat hooks and when you do, you begin to appreciate the damage they can do.
Here’s one I forgot to post from last month. I usually skip right by Red-tailed Hawks as they are quite common and honestly, I just don’t think they usually are very pretty.
This one however, got my attention. It is a rufous-morph so it has much darker and prettier plumage than a normal Red-tail. That red and brown on its chest were very distinctive and this particular one seemed to know it was a cut above the rest of its more ‘normal’ cousins as it stood tall and proud.
If you see a hawk, there is a very good chance it is a Red-tail. They are likely the most common and can be found year-round across much of the contiguous United States.