Here are a few more shots of the red-shouldered hawk I photographed last weekend in Brookfield, Connecticut. Here’s the original story, in case you missed it.
About three years ago I got a photo of a red-tailed hawk in an evergreen tree across the road from Brookfield High School in SW Connecticut. Yesterday, I was able to photograph another hawk in the same tree — this one a red-shouldered hawk.
There is often confusion between the two species as they are both large birds of the genus buteo. Throw in the broad-winged hawk and there’s even more confusion with three common buteos to be found in New England. (There are others, too, but not as commonly seen.)
The red-tailed hawk is the largest and broad-winged the smallest, but size is of little help in the field — unless, of course, individuals of all three species are perched next to each other, which never happens. I find the easiest way to distinguish the red-shouldered hawk is with its reddish or rusty chest and belly. Young birds, however, have tan or brown chests and bellies, similar to the other buteos in question.
For comparison’s sake, here’s a shot of the red-tailed hawk I photographed in the same tree in 2016.
My son Will and I came across this red-shouldered hawk while we were driving through a neighborhood in Brookfield, Connecticut, the other day. It’s times like this that I usually don’t have my camera with me, but this time I happened to be prepared.
The red-shouldered hawk is one of New England’s most common hawks, along with red-tailed hawk, broad-winged hawk, Cooper’s hawk, and sharp-shinned hawk. There are other hawks in the region, of course, but these are the ones seen most often. I typically see red-tailed hawks most often, but I’ve been seeing more and more red-shouldered hawks of late.
Sorry for the delay on this post … I ended the last post with this:
“I have a feeling this bird is digesting a recently eaten meal. Anybody know what makes me think that?”
Take a look at the bill and talons of the bird. Some small bird or animal found out why hawks are “birds of prey.”
Here are a few more photos of the red-shouldered hawk I spotted the other day in Brookfield, Conn.
Notice how far the head can turn around. Quite an impressive and useful adaptation for birds.
I have a feeling this bird is digesting a recently eaten meal. Anybody know what makes me think that?
When I drove past this red-shouldered hawk near Brookfield (Conn.) High School, I doubted I would be able to find a place to safely pull off the road and snap a few photos. I had to try, however, so I pulled into parking lot a few dozen yards down the road and started to turn around. I noticed, however, that the parking lot afforded an even better view of the bird and just as close. I’ll take that luck any day. Notice the reddish chest and belly barring, as opposed to the more brownish markings of a broad-winged or red-tailed hawk.
Here’s my column from this week in The Hour and Keene Sentinel.
It was one of those walks I probably shouldn’t have taken. I had only a smidgen of wiggle room if I wanted to arrive at an appointment on time. The woods beckoned, however, and I’ve always felt that a few minutes in the woods was better than no minutes in the woods. The danger, of course, is that I find it very difficult to spend only a few minutes in the woods. One good bird to follow and there goes my couple of minutes. Oh well, I figured, it’s cold and breezy. The birds will be hunkered down and making themselves scarce. I can knock out a quick walk no problem. The plan was working Continue reading