Elusive raptors,

rarely let you near.

When they do,

you are enraptured.

Melanistic red tail hawks have more melanin or pigment in their feathers than other hawks making them distinctive. It used to be thought these morphological distinctions were an isolated variant, but now scientists are noticing behavioral differences associated with the changes in feather color.

Melanistic hawks typically let me get much closer than other hawks and I wonder if this might be due to behavioral differences associated with their color variance. After all, it is often true, those who are different, are also braver!

Cheers to you from the brave and different hawks~

247 thoughts on “Enraptured~

      1. Feb 15. Just a few hurdles to cross first – we are “ok”, but Marian has a 3-month followup on her achalasia surgery (14d off protonix not much fun), and I’m trying to get my injured knee/hamstring stabilized before we go. How were the twins? Did you have an enjoyable Christmas?

        1. Hopefully that will give you enough time, and there is excellent medical care on the ships if necessary. I do hope you both go! The twins are awesome, smiling and verbalizing. They are mellow babies and sleep through the night. Christmas was quite special with them. Love & prayers to you and Marian <3

  1. These are amazing photos of majestic birds. You are the animal whisperer after all. They all pose for you. They know you are trying to get us to see their value on the planet. Keep up the good work.

  2. Great close up photos Cindy. When we lived in Dallas there was a large hawk that used to perch itself on a pool near our back yard swimming pool. Everytime when I had my small dogs outside (Roxy the Rat Terrier-a runt from the litter) and (Max – a Chuwauwa), I was always worried that the large hawk would swoop down and take one of my dogs up and away. Luckily, it never happened, but I was always careful when the hawk was around.

    1. Yep, I can well understand why you were careful. I am the same way with our resident Great Horned Owls and our cat Herbert. He is not allowed in the courtyard at night.

  3. These are so beautiful it’s hard to choose a favorite, but I’ll go with the first and the last, the first because the hawk’s expression looks uncharacteristically pensive, the last for the power and freedom of that wingspan.

    1. Laughing….I would love it too! But we can’t really go to the hair salon and mimic this can we? Although women have been trying to do this with bird feathers forever. Happily, for you and me Pauline, we know, the feathers look best on the bird. Hope all is well with you and Jack <3

            1. Once or twice a week is more than I post.
              But still I see none of your posts in my Reader, and miss lots of posts of my long standing good friends because they don’t appear in my Reader.
              The Reader is the only way I can stay on top of posts. I even pay WP extra for a plan to prevent losing friends like you.
              I have to go hunt for you on the internet, and friends like you, who I want to stay in touch with, and it is time consuming to do.
              I don’t want to contact WP and complain.
              Just please know, I wish I saw what you and Jack posted.
              Maybe I really will contact WP and complain, but they don’t like it. Who actually would?
              So I think this is one of those human caused dilemmas without a solution.

  4. These photos are beautiful. I did not know about the pigment and the difference in behavior. That’s fascinating. Our red tails here are often quite light in coloration.

  5. I’m enraptored. Red tailed hawk, chicken hawk, buzzard. Ours are a little lighter, but not as light as google would lead you to think. They liked to dine on rabbit on the peak of my old house here in the ‘burbs. You see them circling, looking for dinner. We still have plenty of rabbits.

    1. Rabbits are pretty amazing aren’t they. I bred them as a kid for fun. It was impossible to stop them from breeding! I couldn’t separate them fast enough. My friend bred mice, she was in worse shape! I look forward to sharing 2019 with you John. Be well.

    2. So am I! Seconding John!

      Your photos of those melanistic red tail hawks are definitely very eye-catching indeed, Cindy!

      As far as I can remember, the National Bird Day was just held a few days ago.

      Cindy, since you like watching and photographing eagles so much, please be informed that I have very stylishly collated nearly 80 images hyperlinked to Tofino Photography’s posts containing the Moon Eagle. You can find them nicely presented in my special post at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/if-my-name-were-moon-tonight/, which also contain my own poem as well as a beautifully written anonymous poem.

      1. I am a fan and follower of Tofino Photography. We almost met up when I was last in Tofino, and will I am certain, soon. He was going to take me to his cabin and we were going to take photos together. He hooked me up with some black bears which was awesome. Thank you for the link and cheers to you~

  6. Magnificent – reminds me of the quote by Leonardo da Vinci: “For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.”

  7. Magnificent creatures! Reminds of this quote: “For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return. Leonardo da Vinci

      1. The films based on his books will charm you. I’ve no doubt you will be hooked and perhaps even letting others in on them. In English, the book and film are My Father’s Glory and based on his life. There are also others by Monsieur Pagnol and I am happy to share more info if you like. <3

  8. Spoken like a true social scientist. Beautiful photos as well. We have Osprey at certain times of the year. But they seldom come down from their lofty heights. When they do, they might be diving for a splashing fish, a garden snake, or field mouse. They swoop down and then they’re gone. We used to see Red-tailed Hawks and Eagles, but they are long gone, replaced by Black Vultures, (commonly referred to as buzzards).

  9. Pingback: Enraptured~ — (a wonderful treat from Cindy Knoke…be sure to look at all the photographs) | Rethinking Life

  10. Awesome captures of the bird. You made me wonder how close the bird let you get close to? With that fierce looking, I am sure it is brave enough for anything to get close.

  11. What a lovely wild creature! When I walk across the fields near the house I can sometimes stop them at the sky, circeling and diving through the air. Such beautiful photos Cindy;) The feathers are especially wonderful, how smooth they must be to touch…

    All the best

    1. They are. They were slaughtered in our country for such a long time, but they seem to not be able to be defeated, because they keep rising, in every sense of the word.

  12. Pingback: Enraptured~ | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  13. Awesome, beautiful creatures. Love how you can get your camera lenses so close and focused to get such incredible shots that cover so much at close range.

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