Friday, January 20, 2023

Winter Red-tailed and Cooper's hawks

Winter is my favorite time to observe raptors. For one thing, they're easier to spot when all the leaves are off the trees. And, there are usually many immature birds around that are still learning to hunt and survive, and they can be a joy to watch. 

Here are some of my recent favorites.

Immature red-tailed hawk:

Immature red-tailed hawk flying.

Immature red-tailed hawk flying.

Immature red-tailed hawk flying.

Even the angels say, "Look up!"

Immature red-tailed hawk perched on an angel's wing.

Immature red-tailed hawk perched on an angel's wing.

Immature red-tailed hawk perched on an angel's wing.

Immature red-tailed hawk perched on an angel's wing.

Immature red-tailed hawk.

Immature red-tailed hawk.

This is an adult pair of red-tails on Governors Island (male above, female below).

Red-tailed hawk pair perched on weather vane.

When the moon is visible during the day, it's worth trying to line yourself up with a hawk perch. This happens more than you might think! For example, here is Amelia in Tompkins Square, and Christo perched on St Brigid's church, and Amelia on St Nicholas of Myra, all with the moon visible behind them.

The hawk pair in the photo above stayed in place just long enough for the moon to rise, then they both took off a few seconds later.

Red-tailed hawk pair with moon rising behind them.

Another adult red-tail:

Adult red-tailed hawk flying.

Adult red-tailed hawk pair perched together.

Another adult red-tail hanging out with a Blue Jay.

Red-tailed hawk with a blue jay.

I love how birds fluff up when it's cold.

Red-tailed hawk all fluffed up.

This is an adult Cooper's hawk checking us out on a dark and dreary winter day.

Adult Cooper's hawk.

Adult Cooper's hawk.

Here is an immature Cooper's resting after apparently eating a big meal - check out that bulging crop.

Immature Cooper's hawk.

Immature Cooper's hawk.

As the hawk rested, an American Crow visited the tree to casually eat some buds. I had the feeling the crow was being a little passive-aggressive and taunting the hawk, but nothing happened. The crow kept an eye one the hawk, the hawk ignored the crow, and all remained peaceful.

Immature Cooper's hawk with a crow.

One last adult Cooper's hawk:

Adult Cooper's hawk.

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