Sunday, November 15, 2009


I planned on taking some shots of birds at the feeder, but when I looked out the window there were no birds to be found. This was odd because the trees had been full of birds when I filled the feeders just minutes before. It wasn’t hard to see what the problem was. A Red-tailed Hawk was sitting in the tree above the feeders, keeping watch over the whole area.

A female Cardinal flew into the tree and then seemed to be trying to avoid eye contact with the hawk. The hawk was probably more interested in the possibility of a mouse or vole or maybe a chipmunk out foraging for bird feed.

The hawk spent a lot of time preening and scanning its surroundings. I noticed that it spent a lot of time staring at the woodpecker tree.

Here’s what it was watching. This White-breasted Nuthatch finally worked its way around to my side of the tree. My list of things to do was urging me to move on, so I decided to put off feeder shots until another time.


  1. ...these are nice shots, Steve!!! I've never been that close to a Red-tailed Hawk, so I've never been able to capture a decent photo of one. I always see them high in the sky or high in the trees (or on the electric wire stanchions). Coopers, Sharp-shinned and Red Shouldered Hawks visit our yard, but as close Red Tails... Poor little Mrs. Red. I love that shot of her avoiding eye contact!

  2. Great photo of the Nuthatch especially, shadow and all. That is funny about the Cardinal!
    Yup, I always knew to look for a hawk when the birds were either still or mobbing. Now the yard is too overgrown...

  3. I love your pictures. Nuthatches are always fun. I also enjoy watching hunting hawks. Red-tails are still here, Swainson's are gone and Rough-legged are just coming. I saw a couple on Sunday. Thanks.

  4. Hi everybody. Thanks for the nice comments. I really enjoy it when hawks spend time in the yard. Maybe one of them will eat some of the two dozen squirrels I have running everywhere.