Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Winter in My Garden - Hawks

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I realize that the clarity of these photos is somewhat lacking, but we've been so delighted by the presence of this Sharpshin(?) Hawk in the early mornings that I just had to post them anyway. According to my limited knowledge and my Petersen's bird guide, this is either a Sharpshin or a young red-shouldered hawk, though I certainly could be wrong on both counts.

 He, or she, perches on one particular branch, one foot tucked up, overlooking the pond just beyond our fence, mostly looking down, perhaps hoping to catch breakfast.  The top photo is natural color; I saturated the photo just above hoping to better show the markings on the feathers.  These were taken from inside the house (going outside, no matter how quiet we are, scares him away), through a window, with an EFS 55-250mm lens which was cranked all the way out.  (I've got a better lens and a sturdier tripod on my wish list.)

This morning was a veritable hawk-fest.  This little guy was just outside the kitchen door so of course the photo was taken through the window, plus the flash went off (white light above the hawk) and the bird flew away so I didn't get a second shot.  I haven't been able to identify it, so if anyone out there is a hawk person, please chime in.

We hardly ever see hawks in so close; I wonder what the attraction is this year?

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Anonymous said...

This. Is. Awesome! I love your hawk photos! They look so handsome. Wow!


Spadoman said...

These are fantastic photos, and I see no imperfections. I can't identify any kind of bird, but I love to see them and watch them.
I am in New Mexico and along the Rio Grande River. I watch daily the Great Blue Herons and hawks that fly around here. The other day, I believe there was an osprey on a power pole.
Good stuff. Thanks for sharing with us all.
No trip to Humco this Winter. Although I love to walk that Hookton Slough trail when I do get up there. So many birds there. Very nice.
I don't mean to ramble, but I have seen some of your facebook stuff about some of the food you are preparing these days. Scrumptious! to say the least. An art form in itself.


Rob said...

FIrst one's a Red-shouldered hawk, you can tell by the bit of black and white checkerboard that you see on the side. Sharp shins show nothing as contrasty as that.

Second one is likely a Coopers hawk, though Sharp shin is also a possibility. The distinctive cap makes me more inclined to think Coopers, as is the fact that it's perching on a fence post (sharpy's much more likely to be perched in a tree).

We went for a walk Sunday and got to study a pair of Peregrines, even saw one of them roust a Bald eagle that wandered a little too close. :)

Christine said...

Thank you Paz. I just knew you would like them. :)

Christine said...

Hi Joe, So nice to hear from you. Sorry you won't make it out to Humboldt this winter, but I know you will sometime. Thank you so much for the cooking kudos! Be well.

Christine said...

Rob, I'm so glad you wrote here. I'm a terrible bird identifyer, even when I've got Petersen's in front of me. I would have loved to have seen those Peregrines roust a bald eagle. What a sight that must have been.

anna maria said...

Beatiful photos an beautiful creatures. I miss seeing them in my backyard in San Francisco, although it usually meant the demise of a Mourning Dove!

Christine said...

I'm sure that they're eating habits are quite private, but I haven't yet seen the demise of a mourning dove yet - and we have a lot of them. Mourning doves, that is. Here's hoping for the best!