We have a large hunter that moves through the forested area behind our house with increasing regularity. Actually, there are a couple of them — certainly mates. I’ve tried several times to get pictures of our guests, but to no avail. Yesterday, I finally got a shot.
These birds sail among the trees almost effortlessly, and their cry immediately confirms the identity: hawks. But they never came close enough or stayed long enough to get a good picture.
She (I think it’s a she — but my ornithology skills are not what they used to be) landed on our neighbors’ fence and I managed to creep close enough to get a decent shot. Soon enough, she flew away,
but only to another part of the fence. Nearer and nearer — shocked at how close I was getting. The other day, we saw one of them land in our back yard; it appeared to have a limp. “Maybe that is the hurt one,” K said as I moved ever close.
To be able to get a shot like this of a wild bird — quite a rush.
She flew away just as I began to wax philosophical with my silly thoughts,
gliding only a few feet above the ground, telling me the session was over.
But what kind of bird?
A quick check in our National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds–Eastern Region gives some hints, but it’s not until we ask the Internet that we get any kind of confirmation: a Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), and I’m fairly sure it’s a a juvenile.
Yet we’re not convinced. Any ideas?