I saw a low of 15°F yesterday morning up in the East Canyon of the Wasatch Mountains and I also saw plenty of Red-tailed Hawks perched in trees and flying along the way.
Autumn adult Red-tailed Hawk perched in an Aspen – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 800, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited
I struggled with heat wave distortion a lot yesterday morning and I was disappointed in the quality of many of the photos I took because of that. These two photos of adult Red-tailed Hawks in the East Canyon were fine and didn’t seem affected by the heat wave distortion.
In the immediate area where this adult Red-tailed Hawk was perched in an Aspen I could see six other red tails hanging around in the trees and hillsides. I love the view of the red tail of this hawk but I am not so sure about the cluttered setting.
East Canyon Red-tailed Hawk adult – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 800, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited
I like the setting and clean background of this Red-tailed Hawk image more than I do the previous photo but I wish the red tail was more visible. The background is distant mountains with some Gambel’s Oaks that have changed colors because of the cooler temps.
I did see some snow up close in the mountains. The weather is changing quickly here and I actually had to wear my fleece under layers to stay warm.
Life is good.
Red-tailed Hawk facts and information:
- Red-tailed Hawks can be found in every state in the U.S. except Hawaii and throughout most of Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
- They are hawks of open country, fields, deserts, mixed woodlands, grasslands, roadsides, pastures, range and agricultural areas and will perch and nest on man-made as well as natural objects.
- Northern Red-tailed Hawks including the Harlan’s subspecies are migratory while other Red-tailed Hawks are year round residents. Hawks that breed high in mountain ranges often descend to lower elevations over the winter.
- Red-tailed hawks are monogamous and may mate for life.
- Mated pairs will also hunt together.
- They lay 1 to 5 eggs which hatch in about 30 days. Both sexes incubate the eggs.
- Courting Red-tailed Hawks put on an aerial display that both sexes participate in.
- Red-tailed Hawks are known to have extremely variable plumage, some of that variability is due to geographical regions the Red-tailed Hawks are found in and some variation is because there are light, intermediate (rufous), and dark morphs including Harlan’s Hawks which are darker overall.
- Their diet includes small mammals including rabbits, jackrabbits, hares, mice, voles, ground squirrels, and rats. They will also consume upland game birds, passerines, lizards, snakes and carrion.
- Red-tailed Hawks used to be called Chicken Hawks.
- Red-tailed Hawks can live beyond 21 years