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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Birds 
Thread started 10 Feb 2013 (Sunday) 22:25
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Hawk ID request

 
BioSci
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Feb 10, 2013 22:25 |  #1

First of all, I know these shots are blurred. This is not because of mis-focus, but because of thermal effects. I set up my 7D with 100-400L at 400mm on a tripod in my opened bedroom window this morning to shoot a recent newcomer to the back yard. The problem is that I'm in Eastern Massachusetts, and this morning the outside air temp was about 15F. The distortion caused by thermal mixing of the warm bedroom air with the frigid outside air could easily be seen on the camera viewfinder.

That being said, I'm curious what kind of hawk we have here. He's about 12-15 inches high from feet to head, not counting the tail, so I'm guessing that may rule out the smaller sharp-shinned hawk or a Cooper's hawk. There's a birdfeeder about 10 feet directly below my position, and I'm sure that the plentiful songbirds it attracts are on the hawk's dinner menu. I'm also hoping that the nest just to the left of the hawk is under its consideration for raising a family. It'd be very cool to be able to photograph the raising of a clutch of hawks in the back yard, even if that means there'd be fewer songbirds this summer. Nature is cruel but beautiful.

What's the consensus?

IMAGE: http://mat99.ath.cx/potn/SSHawk-2S.jpg


IMAGE: http://mat99.ath.cx/potn/SSHawk-1S.jpg

EOS R | 7D | 24-70 f/2.8L II | 70-200 f/2.8L II | 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L | 17-55 f/2.8 | 11-16 f/2.8

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porkphoto
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Feb 10, 2013 22:33 |  #2

I would guess...Red-shouldered Hawk. It would be a treat for sure to have it nest that close to your bedroom window!




  
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banjoguns
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Feb 10, 2013 22:57 |  #3

I'll second that it is a Red-shouldered Hawk.
I don't think these frequently feed on birds.


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BioSci
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Feb 10, 2013 23:05 as a reply to  @ banjoguns's post |  #4

I checked out the appearance and habits of the red-shouldered hawk, and both seem to fit. A good photo and description is found on the Audobon site (external link). Especially noteworthy is that our yard abuts a 3-acre pond, which may provide other habitat preferred by the red-shouldered hawks. Of course, this time of year the pond is mostly frozen, with a large group (~30) of mallards crowding the remaining open water. There's also lots of squirrels, the occasional field mouse, muskrats, and rabbits which all can be added to the dinner plate. I'll try later for some better shots, but it is cool that this guy is about 50 feet from my bedroom window!


EOS R | 7D | 24-70 f/2.8L II | 70-200 f/2.8L II | 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L | 17-55 f/2.8 | 11-16 f/2.8

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Evan
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Feb 10, 2013 23:20 |  #5

Red-shouldered Hawks prefer brushy habitat and thicker trees like the one you photographed it in. The "nest" to me does not look like a nest at all (unless you have some other shots from a different angle in which it isn't distorted), more like a bunch of branches got caught in the Y of the tree. It is definitely NOT a hawk nest, looks more like a squirrel nest to me TBH. A Red-shouldered nest looks nearly exactly like a Red-tailed Hawk nest, only a little smaller. A google search for "hawk nest" turns many RTHAs nesting.

RSHa's mainly prey on small mammals like squirrels, rats, etc. However, they will take small birds if they get the chance, I once saw a RSHa take a Ruffed Grouse. Though the Ruffed Grouse is nearly the same size of the Red-shouldered. Muskrats are a bit big for a Red-shouldered, but not too big for a Red-tailed.


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SJC ­ from ­ VT
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Feb 11, 2013 05:43 |  #6

Thanks for sharing your photos and story...once again...I have learned something new on POTN. Also thanks to Evan for the detailed explanation.


*Sandy* "If we all had positive attitudes...we could change the world"
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Hawk ID request
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