So I’m slowly getting back on track in terms of getting more bird pages posted under the main bird tab. As I had stated previously, the next group that I was going to be getting organized was the raptors.
This is a very large group (as mentioned on the page for their order–Accipitriformes; and one of the family pages–Accipitridae). These two pages were published earlier this week–I’m only now announcing them, because I’ve added a few more family members to the list.
I had published the page for the bald eagle back in October, and then decided that I was going to organize the pages, and it took awhile to get to the order and family for the bald eagle.
The Cooper’s hawk has mainly been a visitor in the backyard (either ours or our neighbors), while the red-shouldered hawk I’ve spotted in our backyard, and on several walks at Boomer Lake.
A photography goal is going to be trying to get a picture of the Cooper’s hawk at Boomer Lake, and possibly closer one of the Cooper’s hawk when it’s sitting on the fence from the back (I’d like to really be able to see the gray-blue better).
The next page or two will be over the Mississippi Kite and the sharp-shinned hawk, before going on to the osprey family (which will round out the current diurnal raptors that I have pictures of).
The winner of today’s photography challenge is the hawk that flew off in mid-shot, but I still managed to get two decent pictures of it in flight.
I’m pretty sure that this is the red-shouldered hawk and not the red-tailed hawk, due to the red on the breast as it was flying past me.
I’m wondering if I interrupted this one while it was hunting—as I had noticed it sitting on top of a light post, but when I got close to get it’s picture—it flew off towards some trees. I followed, but I didn’t notice the exact limb that it had landed on, so I continued on my walk to see what other birds I could spot.
They are hunters, and their prey ranges from small mammals to reptiles and amphibians. Though they have been seen to also eat other birds (including young owlets, sparrows, and doves).
They’re year round residents of the area, so I will be keeping an eye out for them on my walks to see if I can spot them in trees, on light posts, or just flying through the area.
The winner of the double photography challenge (yesterday and today) is the red-shouldered hawk. Today was one of those days when I really wasn’t sure if I wanted to go on my morning walk or not—while it wasn’t that warm yet, there was already a heat index—but I decided to do a short walk if nothing else. I’m glad I did, or I would have missed seeing this magnificent creature this morning.
I was following my normal path when I noticed a hawk fly up into a pine tree on the other side of the street, I followed hoping to get at least one semi-decent picture of the hawk before possibly scaring it off.
I managed to get a
couple of pictures (none worthy of sharing) before it flew to another tree—I
followed and managed to get several others before it flew off to another part
of the park to hunt.
Some interesting facts
about red-shouldered hawks:
They return to the same nesting territory year after year.
They’ve been known to turn the tables on great horned owls and steal their young from the nests (nestlings of any large bird are known prey of great horned owls) to eat.
They can team up with crows to chase owls out of the territory.
These birds are found year round in this part of Oklahoma, and I didn’t realize that there are four other subspecies of red-shouldered hawks—three others found in the eastern parts of the country and then the fifth one is out in California (and they really aren’t seen in any of the states in between California and eastern Oklahoma/Texas and then eastwards).
I know that area also has red-tailed hawks, and broad-shoulder hawks as well. I’m going to try to keep my eye (and camera) on the look out for them as well as we head into the fall and winter months.