Monday, February 22, 2010

Red-Shouldered Hawks Mating

Birds of Prey

Can you imagine how excited I was when this suitor showed up right as I was pointing my shaky lens at this beautiful Red-Shouldered Hawk! She was sitting there minding her own business and... who am I kidding, she may have been waiting for him for an hour! Either way, he stopped by for some tree top... well lets say lovin'!!!
(click any photo to enlarge)



Finally she gives him a peck on the ear and off he goes. How beautiful are those red shoulders? The hawks have been really active lately and now I know why. Appears to be mating season here in central Florida for birds of prey.

Did you Know:

Cool Facts

  • The Red-shouldered Hawk is divided into five subspecies. The four eastern forms contact each other, but the West Coast form is separated from the eastern forms by 1600 km (1000 mi). The northern form is the largest. The form in very southern Florida is the palest, having a gray head and very faint barring on the chest.
  • Although the American Crow often mobs the Red-shouldered Hawk, sometimes the relationship is not so one-sided. They may chase each other and try to steal food from each other. They may also both attack a Great Horned Owl and join forces to chase the owl out of the hawk's territory.
  • By the time they are five days old, nestling Red-shouldered Hawks can shoot their feces over the edge of their nest. Bird poop on the ground is a sign of an active nest.
  • The Great Horned Owl often takes nestling Red-shouldered Hawks, but the hawk occasionally turns the tables. While a Red-shouldered Hawk was observed chasing a Great Horned Owl, its mate took a young owl out of its nest and ate it.
Did you Know Source

Thanks for stopping by,

Craig Glenn

21 comments:

dAwN said...

Howdee Craig..
Wow..and you watched??
LOL..
Great shots!!
Glad your back bloggin!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Amazing captures.I guess it pays to be alert to what is happening,and have the camera ready to roll.
Blessings,Ruth

jalynn01 said...

Wow and what a Surprise! As soon as I saw you posted I hopped right over and was delighted that you caught a little tree-top lovin from your hawks. You had to be ready and already pointing the camera up there... I know as I have tried to get the Kestrels mating and it is no easy feat. So glad you were there at just the right time.. Great captures.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Oh WOW!! What terrific shots and action Craig. I would have been excited too to be able to capture this!! What luck. Thanks for sharing my friend.

forestal said...

super photos and very lucky for you.

dan

Leeloo said...

Amazing!! What a moment to capture ;) You're very lucky to have witnessed this. Is this near your home? I wonder if you'll get to see the babies at some point, that would be very exciting! Great photos :)

KaHolly said...

Wow, Craig, talk about being at the right place at the right time! Wonderful photo essay, beautiful birds. What kind of tree are they in? ~karen

Gaelyn said...

OMG Craig, these are amazing captures. You were so in the right space. Hope you felt just a little guilty about watching for so long. ;-) Fantastic!!!

dAwN said...

Oh...and I forgot to say..after not blogging for a month..
you sure did come back with a Bang!:)
pun intended!

Richard said...

Great series of photos. Like the next to last one that shows the male is smaller then the female. You read this all the time but this is the first time I've seen it.

Carol said...

I have a tree that I consider the Hawk Breeding Tree. It seems they use it each year. I've never gotten such nice pictures as you did.

www.wildlifearoundus.blogspot.com

HANNIBAL said...

Wow, you had quite the vantage point! Nice series of this behavior! Congrats on this find, Craig!

Coy said...

How lucky could you get! Great series Craig, and those red-shoulders are such beautiful hawks.

√ Abraham said...

Imagine that. What a nice and unusual set of photos.

jeannette stgermain said...

You caught the whole process! Now you can write the book you've been wanting to write:)

Jose's World said...

Great sequence,can tell that the male is bigger than the female; seems to be the case with all the hawks and eagles.

Tom said...

Very nice Craig!

Bird Girl said...

Hi Craig - What a fantastic experience! And you captured it like a PRO! I've been dying to tell you how wonderful your photos are with your new camera - I bet you are having a ball! Whatever you got it seems to be a perfect fit for you and you sure are making great use of it!
Congrats on this awesome capture!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Craig: That was an outstanding capture of the neat hawks.

cindyzlogic said...

Hi, Craig, I haven't seen you for awhile. But, I know how it gets! This is a fantastic post and photos! "You can take the birder out of birding, but you can't take birding out of the birder ;-)

Garden tips said...

Nice Blog