Last month while up in Montana I saw this young Red-tailed Hawk just standing in the road looking around and not acting the least bit concerned about the pickup or the two large lens that were pointed at it. I think this was a pretty young bird that may have left its nest around the time I photographed it. I didn’t see any adults nearby and I probably would have because the area was quite open and the only nearby perches were power poles or fence posts.
Was the young hawk looking around for prey? Probably, but I am not sure what it might have been hoping to find while standing on a gravel road. Perhaps grasshoppers? Or the numerous ground squirrels that have burrows along the entire length of the road? I didn’t see many voles but I still can’t count them out as prey. What ever the juvenile raptor was looking for I hope that it found it because quite a few raptors die during their first year, mortality rates are estimated of being between 60 and 80%.
I must admit I have concerns about the success of the nesting season this year in Beaverhead County, Montana because I saw far fewer juvenile Red-tailed and Swainson’s Hawks than I have in prior years but did see more juvenile Ferruginous Hawks than I have seen previously.
It is wonderful to be back on line and sharing my images and the stories behind them again! Thank you all for the great welcome back.
PS: I noticed this morning that you can only get to the images in my photo galleries by clicking the images in the main body of the galleries, the dropdown list of galleries does not function as it should. I’m still working out the bugs from the migration to the new hosting provider.