Hanging Out with the Hawks Pt I (of III): Red Tails

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(You really need to click to enlarge these photos to see these beauties close up!) I’ve been busy the last few days taking pics of hawks.

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I got to be up close and personal with Harris and Red Tail Hawks, hold, fly them, and photograph them.

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In other words, I was in heaven!

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Check out the pics of the red tail. Beautiful isn’t he! Next post I’ll introduce you to the Harris Hawks and show you them flying and hunting in tandem. Amazing!
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I took these pics at West Coast Falconery which is run by Kirk Selinger a licensed falconer and his apprentice Denise Disharoon. Kirk is a former National Geographic videographer, who now spends his time raising hawks, owls and vultures. He lives in a place just about as remote as The Holler, and we drove down a rutted dirt road to spend some time with him and his gorgeous birds. More pics of the red tail!
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This is a seven month old melanistic Red Tailed Hawk. It’s feathers are darker than normal due to excess melanin production.
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Here he is having a shower which he loves!
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To see Kirk’s operation click on: http://westcoast-falconry.com/falconry-education/west-coast-falconry-san-diego/
The Holler hawks have been very active and flying very close to me lately, so I’ll try to post some shots of them as well. Cheers to you from Hawk Heaven!

149 thoughts on “Hanging Out with the Hawks Pt I (of III): Red Tails

  1. I love to watch the hawks circling in our area, or tucking in their wings and diving on a target. They are wonderful, magnificent creatures. It’s particularly sad when I see a pile of feathers on the highway, knowing that a beautiful bird was killed just for doing his “job.”

    Thanks for sharing these

  2. Wow, these are majestic birds, every bit as awe-inspiring as eagles. I heard that hawks have so much power in their talons that they can crush the bones in our hands. One good reason to wear strong leather gloves when working with them! I love seeing the expression in their eyes and the details in their feathers in your photos.

    • Yes, they do have incredibly powerful biting pressure, but they also modulate it and rarely use it. I feel just as you do about the up close details of these remarkable creatures!

  3. Wow. I have never seen these birds this close up before. We have quite a few Red-tailed hawks and Harris Hawks. They are always so quietly perched – high on a light pole – overlooking all they can see below. So imposing. Beautiful. Truly beautiful. I saw one once, it was standing in the snow – right after a kill and feast. I wish I had a camera – it was amazing. Blood all around on the snow and on its chest. Scary. But still amazingly beautiful.

    • There is something magical and mysterious about the raptors. They are so amazingly good at what they do, fly, hunt and survive. Glimpsing them for me is always a thrill and I am so glad you feel the same~

      • There used to be two red tails that lived near my son’s middle school – we named them Harry and Hermione. Believe it or not, I still see them around – or maybe they are the next generation:)

  4. Very stunning photographs! The first one is so majestic with the details enhancing its strength…and you have a steady hand with what appears to be a telephoto or zoom!

  5. Wooow! I’m impressed. You got some great shots there Cindy! I’d love to visit the falconry if we ever get out that direction. Ha… back in the day.. my dungeons and dragons character had a Falcon I could talk to. ๐Ÿ˜†

    • I have some shots that show the convesity of the eye surface and are shot through the aqeous humour, but you are quite correct, they do have a rather flat, rotating lens. Hawk eyes! They can spot a mouse from a mile up!

  6. Cindy, you’ve captured their eloquence and majesty. I have quite a few in my neighborhood, and just yesterday one of the juveniles was basking in a tree close to my backyard. They spend considerable time watching my bird feeder station. Sometimes they come into my garden and it’s a glorious sight.

    • If you get up close to them in a situation like this, they are not at all scary. Sometimes they fly close to me in the wild, and I always love this, except when it is three at one time, and I can’t keep my eye on each of them! They are powerful creatures~

  7. We have red-tails around our mountain year-round. We mostly see them gliding between the trees. A few years back a smaller hawk began roosting in woods around the bend. They have had several broods since. I mostly see them soaring a good distance up, so I have not gotten a positive identification, but I guess they are sharp-shinned by their color and wing spread.
    Oscar

    • They should return to the nest each year as they are monogamous. When they get accoustomed to you watching them a lot (like me) they will fly close to you to check you out……if you have the time. I know the farm keeps you very busy. They are a joy to have around and I love to watch the mating flights, nesting and chick rearing. Cheers to you Oscar~

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