Thursday, August 22, 2019

THE NOT SO TOTALLY UNEXPECTED VISITOR - A HAWK


No, not totally unexpected I suppose, hoped for perhaps if I was honest.  The last couple of weeks I have seen flashes of a 'different' kind of a bird and I had thought it was a hawk. Ever hopeful I kept a watch every day but no more sightings, and then....
as I was walking by the patio door I saw a large bird in a tree, with a neighbor's chimney as a backdrop.  It was too far for me to properly see it with my own eyes.  At first I thought it might have been a crow, so thinking I was going to take a picture of said crow, I pointed my camera in its direction and looked through the viewfinder as I focused. 
For the last week the birds have been scarcer than usual, and I was surprised by my Cardinal from yesterday, and then he left in a hurry.  The squirrels have also been hiding but later on I saw one lying flat out hidden under the bottom rail of the deck.  Squirrel was intently looking up at the sky. I said to Gregg that I bet it was hiding from a hawk.  I have seen woodpeckers adopting similar postures in the past.



Why thank you, I will do that!  Ah yes, that must be your good side.
He was certainly looking all around for his next meal, which made me grateful that I hadn't been filling up the bird feeders.  Betwixt and between I felt guilty I was depriving it of its next meal, they have to survive after all, but please don't on my watch.  I expect he will be making his way out of the area before too long, and I will be able to start filling up the bird feeders again.
I went to get my cup of tea in the kitchen.  I was gone for a minute or two, and when I returned it was gone.  The birds and squirrels can breath easy.  I think our hawk has moved on as I haven't seen it since.
What do you think?  A Cooper's Hawk?  Red-shouldered Hawk?  I don't know my Hawks too well. I read that it is a sign of a good ecosystem to have them around, that they keep the rodent population in check, also snakes and other unwanted pests.
It was in the shade of the tree so the colors were considerably muted.
There is a web page here that might help, also here.

Thanks for looking at my hawk post.  I hope you have a visitor that brings you a smile today. Now on your bike my dear hawk and leave my little darlings alone.



48 comments:

  1. Super photos, right down to his feet, claws, fierce beak, and beautiful feather pattern. It is always a thrill to see a hawk! But I, too, am glad you had not been feeding the songbirds.

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    1. Thank you Ginny, it certainly is and so was I :)

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  2. Beautiful hawk! Thanks for commenting on my post. Clermont Farm is only open for special events. I follow several local groups and that's how I found out about this one.

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    1. You're very welcome and thank you for the info on Clermont Farm :)

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  3. Majestic and beautiful birds - who also have to eat. My wimpy self agrees though - not while I am watching and not my friends...

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  4. Hawks are predators, I know they are needed, but I feel sorry for squirrels. Great picture.

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  5. Gosh, it is years since I saw a hawk. Thanks for sharing your photos, Denise.

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    1. You are very welcome Valerie and thank you :)

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  6. It is a beautiful bird even if a bit aggressive. Love your photos.

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  7. great photos; I once saw a ground squirrel on a fence post and a hawk just above him, the ground squirrel didn't move cause if he ran the hawk could swoop and get him finally the hawk flew off

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  8. Hello Denise, beautiful series on the Hawk. It is an awesome visitor. Wishing you a happy day!

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    1. Thank you Eileen, also wish you a happy day :)

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  9. Wow! What's the likelihood of seeing such a beautiful bird so close??? I mean if you had walked by the patio door 30m minutes later, you would have missed it. Such a great pic! Hugs, RO

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    1. Hi RO, I was happy for him to visit and then that night he landed on our deck. The next day he sat on a closer branch. I will share those photos sometime :)

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  10. Beautiful shots, looks so innocent there.

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    1. Thank you Christine, he certainly does but very much on watch :)

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  11. My next post will be on the same topic. The birds really do clear out of the area. Mine still aren't back yet.

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    1. I shall look forward to reading it Red. Will be over soon :)

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  12. Denise, I share your thoughts about seeing a hawk around our home. When I hear their call, I immediately want to warn my backyard friends, but they know all too well as you witnessed. It's fun to see them, but I'm glad he has moved on. Great photos!

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    1. Thank you Martha Ellen, they are very smart those little birds :)

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  13. Hi Denise,
    Wonderful set of images of the Hawk, I cannot help you with a type unfortunately.
    Over in England bird feeders act like a magnet for birds of prey, easy pickings, we on a regular basis get a visit from a Sparrow Hawk trying his luck.
    All the best,
    John

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    1. Hi John, very interesting. I have heard of Sparrow Hawks and think I have also seen a photo but would love to see one in real life.

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  14. Wow! A thrill to the soul indeed!! Yes, bird feeders are their supermarket. Hard to stop shooting such a sight!!

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    1. As you can see Cloudia :) I could not stop snapping the shutter button ;)

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  15. I like the birds for how they keep the road kill off the hi-ways. My friend had one make a nest in her tree in the back yard and every time she came outside, the hawk swooped down at her. She couldn't go outside. This picture is wonderful and the hawk is I believe anyway a handsome bird.

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    1. Hi Betsy, yes like the vultures, it is the same. How neat for your friend to see them building the nest, but not so neat to be dive-bombed :(

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  16. He's magnificent and I admire his beauty and love to watch them at a distance. But not in my back yard.

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    1. Thanks Pauline, he is a regular visitor and was back again yesterday :)

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  17. As far as an ID, Denise, this might have been a sharp shinned hawk, as we had seen a similar one when we lived in VA. Unfortunately, a male cardinal fell prey to its clutches one day. You may need to keep the feeders empty for awhile longer as your visitor seems to be hanging around.

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    1. Thank you Dorothy, that would not be so nice to see :( I think he has moved on but not taking any chances yet. I will leave the feeders empty for a while.

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  18. Great captures...as far as ID, I am not good at most hawks.

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  19. If only they would just eat bugs and rodents and not songbirds! But I suppose they like a varied diet too!

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