As I was finishing up my Forest Fog photo-shoot the other morning a Red-Tailed Hawk flew over and sounded his eerie scream. As if I wasn’t already a little spooked in the foggy woods all alone hearing rustlings!
Some facts about Red-Tailed Hawks…
- They are the most common type of hawk and one of the largest birds in North America.
- They are raptors or birds of prey and have exceptional eye sight, sharp talons, and hooked upper beaks; other diurnal (active during the day) raptors include eagles, falcons, and osprey.
- They put on a spectacular courting display and mate for life.
- Sometimes they hunt in pairs and have been observed standing at opposite sides of a tree to catch a squirrel.
- People sometimes take young hawks (a highly regulated practice) when they are still trainable to use as hunting assistants and when the hawk catches prey the hunter must carefully approach and made a trade.
- Hawks hold their wings at an angle to maintain flight (like a kite) and flap them infrequently to conserve energy and when they dive they can reach speeds of 120 mph!
A good website for identifying birds is The Cornell Lab of Ornithology ‘s All About Birds. There you can read descriptions, see pictures and videos, and hear bird calls.