Roadside lunch, Red-tailed Hawk in the Ranchos de Taos valley today. We whipped past this magnificent raptor catching a glimpse of it out of the car window. We wheeled around and pulled over to watch. Thinking it would take off, I got a couple of images in camera then realigned the car for a better angle. It had no thoughts of leaving the carcass. It just kept on tearing bits of flesh from the bones, leaving me with a number of images. As the hawk feasted on it’s lunch we sat in awe feasting on this sight. Thanks for looking. G
Chicks. Two very curious juvenile Red-tailed Hawks on the Nest in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. I’ve been watching this nest and another for some time. The other nest appeared to be recently abandoned but these two chicks at this nest site are thriving very well. By July/August they will be practicing flying lessons. I’ll keep an eye on them and fill you in on their progress. Thanks for looking. G
Nesting Red-tailed Hawk in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. It’s that time of year again and all the usual nest locations are occupied, except one. The pair that raised two chicks in that particular nest last year, are now nesting in another tree close by. It’s a privilege getting to observe these families of raptors in their environment. Not wanting to disturb this bird we made a few images and moved on. Thanks for looking. G
Hawk tree, Red-tailed Hawk in Arroyo Hondo, NM. Our resident Red-tailed, frequents three locations. A high cottonwood with a view of the east and west valleys. This tree, with a more specific view of the meadows, supplemented with an old snag on the opposing, west side of the highway with grand coverage of the marsh lands and horse pastures. If these are the only places, then it has got the valley covered. I’m sure it knows more than I do. Thanks for looking. G
Red-Tailed Hawk aloft over Cerro New Mexico. On the way to a quick photo shoot near Ute Mountain, I caught this beautiful raptor out the car window. I’m convinced it knows my maroon 4 Runner as it has a knack for taking off, from it’s perch, when it sees me long before I pull over. In this case it flew in my direction right past my open window. Thanks for looking. G
Red-tailed Hawk over the hedgerow. We made a quick drive a few nights ago to the southern edge of the San Luis Valley in Colorado just over the border from New Mexico. A gentle wind moved through the wheat fields stirring the crops. Raptors launched from power poles, as we drew close, gliding along the fence lines and hedgerows. The adult birds were screeching warnings to the fledglings who followed the parents, riding on warm, gentle thermals. We saw a number of fields being mowed as we criss-crossed the road grids in the area. The center pivot irrigator provided a perfect watch tower and launch pad for a number of raptors, crows and ravens eager to snatch an unsuspecting mouse or rabbit stirred up by the massive wheeled harvester. We were back home for a late dinner and a movie right before dark. This day, in it’s own way, was a cinematic experience in itself. Thanks for looking. G
Red-Tailed Hawk, Arroyo Hondo, NM. Every now and then I like to revisit Poet Laureate Ted Hughes Poem, “Hawk Roosting” You can read it below. Thanks for looking. G
I sit in the top of the wood, my eyes closed.
Inaction, no falsifying dream
Between my hooked head and hooked feet:
Or in sleep rehearse perfect kills and eat.
The convenience of the high trees!
The air’s buoyancy and the sun’s ray
Are of advantage to me;
And the earth’s face upward for my inspection.
My feet are locked upon the rough bark.
It took the whole of Creation
To produce my foot, my each feather:
Now I hold Creation in my foot
Or fly up, and revolve it all slowly –
I kill where I please because it is all mine.
There is no sophistry in my body:
My manners are tearing off heads –
The allotment of death.
For the one path of my flight is direct
Through the bones of the living.
No arguments assert my right:
The sun is behind me.
Nothing has changed since I began.
My eye has permitted no change.
I am going to keep things like this.
— Ted Hughes
A Red-tailed Hawk guarding it’s nest gave us quite a display above and beyond. We wanted to get a few photographs of the hawk as it circled over us and for a few go rounds we made some images. It’s wonderful to watch and make images of these amazing aerial acrobats but stress affects us all, so we moved on. Thanks for looking. G