Red-tailed Hawk

(Taking a short break from the Costa Rica pictures.  I have just a few left.)

This juvenile Red-tailed Hawk has been hanging around our place in Ohio for most of the winter.  We have seen him catch several small mammals including squirrels.  He often comes quite close to the house, one time even landing on the umbrella pole on our back deck.  On Saturday we got to watch him hunt “close up and personal” as they say.  He was in the trees, at the edge of our lawn, just above the three bird feeders there.  He wasn’t after any other birds though.  Little did I know how many rodents my bird seed was attracting. 

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He quickly dropped down and landed on something.  In the below picture he has it in his talon.

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He promptly proceeded to eat his meal as we watched through our back windows.  It appears to be a mole, a vole or a mouse. None of which I am too sorry to be rid of. 

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He almost immediately repeated his same hunting tactic, catching another similar rodent just about five feet further into the woods, still at the edge.  This time he flew a little ways into the woods onto a favorite branch and swallowed the little thing down in a couple bites.  I was very impressed with his hunting prowess as he was now 2 for 2.  He ruined it later in the day when I watched him try again, this time missing two in a row.  I don’t see myself as especially bloodthirsty, but I must admit that when I see a bird has caught something to eat, I am very eager to get a look at it and see what it is.

Another beautiful bird – and useful!

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