Stoney Creek (Wintergreen) 5/13/12

All photos are Marshall Faintich

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!

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