Red-shouldered Hawks 2012

All photos are Marshall Faintich


March 1, 2012

The first day of March started out with a lot of sunshine and warm temperatures - close to 70 degrees. I hiked first in Stoney Creek, and logged 25 species here. As I approached Sawmill Creek pond #5 (the one behind my house) from the opposite side of the pond, I saw an adult Red-shouldered Hawk.


Adult Red-shouldered Hawk

I saw another Red-shouldered Hawk in the trees in my yard, and it flew up to a nest near the pond. It was a juvenile hawk. I have suspected that these hawks have a nest nearby, as they are regular and yearly visitors to my wooded areas and nearby locations.


Juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk

The juvenile hawk saw me taking pictures, flew from the nest, circled high above and squawking the entire time, and then settled in a different tree.


Juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk


Juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk


Juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk

March 6, 2012

The snow forecast for Sunday night into Monday morning ranged from little or no accumulation to less than one inch. We ended up with about 4 inches of snow, and areas less than 20 miles from our house had as much as 10 inches. By late afternoon, the sun came out and temperatures got into the low 40s, and some of the snow started to melt. A very vocal adult Red-shouldered Hawk was flying high, and a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk was in our back yard again.


Adult Red-shouldered Hawk


Juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk


Juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk

March 19, 2012

The rain that was forecasted for today did not materialize, so Alice and I went for a late morning walk. A Red-shouldered Hawk has been hanging around our house most of the day.


Red-shouldered Hawk

March 25, 2012

When I got home, I walked in my back yard to see if there might be a Red-shouldered Hawk in the nest I had found a few weeks ago. Sure enough, there was one sitting in the nest. I was able to get a few photos, but when I got too close, the hawk let me know to keep my distance.


Red-shouldered Hawk


Red-shouldered Hawk


"Back off, Varmit!"

April 4, 2012

The Red-shouldered Hawk was in her nest in my back yard.


Red-shouldered Hawk

April 29, 2012

After being gone for a week, I first checked the Red-shouldered Hawk's nest in my back yard to see if there were any little ones yet. Mama was still sitting on the nest.


Red-shouldered Hawk

May 2, 2012

My last stop was the Red-shouldered Hawk's nest in my back yard. No little ones yet.


Red-shouldered Hawk

May 3, 2012

The Red-shouldered Hawk in my back yard was standing on the edge of her nest looking into the nest. I wonder if her eggs are starting to hatch??


Red-shouldered Hawk

May 4, 2012

In the afternoon, I checked on the Red-shouldered Hawk's nest in my back yard. Mama has been sitting on the edge of the nest for two days now, after sitting on the nest for more than a month. I saw her poking her head into the nest, and she brought out what looks like a dead little one. Hope that she is taking good care of her eggs and babies.


Red-shouldered Hawk


Red-shouldered Hawk


Red-shouldered Hawk

May 6, 2012

After two days of standing on the edge of her nest, the Red-shouldered Hawk in my back yard has returned to a sitting position in her nest.


Red-shouldered Hawk

May 10, 2012

When I got home, I walked to the back of my yard to check the Red-shouldered Hawk's nest - there were two newly hatched chicks!


Female Red-shouldered Hawk and chick


Female Red-shouldered Hawk and chick


Red-shouldered Hawk chicks


Red-shouldered Hawk chick

May 13, 2012

I have been watching a Red-shouldered Hawk all this past winter and spring that has been nesting about 20 feet off of the ground in a tree in my back yard. I have checked on this hawk almost every day, and she has let me take lots of photos of her. I normally stand about 40 feet away from the base of the tree. A couple of days ago, I thought that I saw a second chick in the nest, so I walked about 10 feet closer to get a better view. Mama flew out of the nest and dropped to my eye level. We were staring at each other eye to eye when I realized she was flying right at me! At the last moment I ducked as she passed right over the top of my head with her talons out - I was lucky that she didn't get my face or my scalp.

I walked back there this afternoon, and as soon as she saw me, mama hawk flew at nest level into a tree behind me. I took a few photos of her to let her know that I meant no harm, but I thought it prudent to remain at my 40 foot distance mark and not get any closer to the nest. I also kept listening for the sound of her wings flapping as I faced the nest to take some photos.

Sure enough, I could easily see at least two chicks in the nest. One of them was getting restless and started to strech it wings. I didn't stay there very long.


Mama Red-shouldered Hawk


Red-shouldered Hawk chicks


Where's mama?


Stretch those wings!


Stretch those wings!


Stretch those wings!

May 15, 2012

It wasn't supposed to be a birding day for me. We had just under two inches of rain yesterday and through the night, with more forecasted for today. But I awoke to muggy air and sunny skies, and decided to take a short hike here in Stoney Creek before any more rain developed. When I got home I checked on the Red-shouldered Hawk chicks in the nest in my back yard, and assumed that my birding was over for the day, as it was starting to get dark and cloudy, and then more rain followed.


Red-shouldered Hawk chicks


Red-shouldered Hawk chicks

May 16, 2012

I checked on the Red-shouldered Hawk's nest, and the two chicks were taking it easy.


Red-shouldered Hawk chick


Red-shouldered Hawk chick

May 18, 2012

Papa was minding the nest, but was not very happy when he noticed me. After letting out a loud squawk, he flew down right over my head and then perched in a tree higher up. I let him know that I did not appreciated his rude welcome.


Red-shouldered Hawk


Red-shouldered Hawk


Red-shouldered Hawk

May 22, 2012

Mama and papa were not there, so I didn't have to worry about being attacked again. The chicks are starting to lose some of their fuzz. As I am looking at the nest from about 20 feet below, and not able to look down into the nest, I knew that there were at least two chicks, but thought I might have seen the top of another fuzz ball. Now that the chicks are bigger and moving about, I could see a third one. One of the chicks spent a couple of minutes doing what I can best describe as forcefully nodding its head up and down. After looking at the photos, I can see that it was trying to chomp down on a mouse! Yum!!


Red-shouldered Hawk chicks


Red-shouldered Hawk chicks


Red-shouldered Hawk chicks


Red-shouldered Hawk chicks


Red-shouldered Hawk chicks - LUNCH!


Red-shouldered Hawk chicks - LUNCH!


Red-shouldered Hawk chicks


Red-shouldered Hawk chicks


Red-shouldered Hawk chicks


Red-shouldered Hawk chicks


Red-shouldered Hawk chicks


Red-shouldered Hawk chicks

May 25, 2012

The little ones are losing the fuzz from their heads.


Red-shouldered Hawks

May 29, 2012

I only had time to check out the Red-shouldered Hawk's nest in my back yard. At least two of the chicks look like they may be getting ready to fledge.


Red-shouldered Hawk chicks


Red-shouldered Hawk chicks

June 2, 2012

Papa was bringing some food to the three chicks, and then made a pass at the top of my head! The chicks have to be close to taking flight lessons.


Red-shouldered Hawk chicks and papa


Red-shouldered Hawk chicks


Red-shouldered Hawk chicks


Red-shouldered Hawk chicks


Red-shouldered Hawk chicks

June 6, 2012

Here's a photo of the three Red-shouldered Hawk chicks in the nest my back yard. They have really grown in the last month.


Red-shouldered Hawk chicks

June 10, 2011

I went out back late morning to check on the three Red-shouldered Hawk chicks, and there was only one of them in the nest. The other two had fledged! The remaining chick looked a bit lonely.


Red-shouldered Hawk chick

I checked on them again mid-afternoon, and the nest was empty. All of the chicks had fledged. I felt both happy and sad at the same time - happy that I had the opportunity to watch these chicks grow from little fuzzballs to juveniles, and sad that they were gone - would I ever see them again?


Red-shouldered Hawk empty nest

June 11, 2011

I returned from a hike at the Rockfish Valley Trail, and checked the nest - still empty. A little while later I saw a hawk fly to the nest. It was mama bringing some food, but none of the fledglings were there. Within a minute, one of the fledglings appeared on a nearby branch and mama left. It then started to rain, and I headed inside. I hope to see more of the hawks - no longer chicks - they are now juveniles.


Mama Red-shouldered Hawk


Juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk



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