Our Red-Tailed Hawk

“A red-tailed hawk rose high on an air current,
calling out shrill, sequential rasps of raptor joy.”
Barbara Kingsolver
Red Tail Hawk

For the past few weeks I’ve experienced an unusual bird sighting here by the ocean. Unusual because seeing one of these birds by the ocean is rare. I would see red-tailed hawks daily on my trail rides with my horse Jimmy, but never at the beach.

I mentioned my sighting to my husband and he thought that a red-tailed hawk was not likely to be at the beach. I agreed with him, but I also told him that we haven’t seen one pigeon on our patio lately and that these hawks hunted the pigeons at the barn. My husband hates the pigeons, so he was hoping I was right.

After days of watching our new neighbor, the red-tailed hawk, I was able to get some video and still images of him perched on the light post outside our patio. My husband was pleasantly surprised to see the images and extremely glad that the hawk was hunting our pesky neighborhood pigeons.

The hawk usually comes by everyday around 5 or 6 in the evening. Magnificent to watch as he catches the ocean breeze and hovers without flapping, eyes fixed on the ground over the beach waiting to spring on any unlikely prey. I spring into action to capture images of him hovering in front of our patio.

The other thing I noticed since the hawk arrived in our neighborhood is that the Great Horned Owl that I would hear in the evening can no longer be heard. Red-Tailed Hawks are extremely territorial and will often chase away Great Horned Owls.

If you follow my blog you might remember my post about the owl on our roof, Hooting in the House. That post was about our new unusual neighbor the owl. Now we have a new and more powerful neighbor to keep our eyes on, our red-tailed hawk.

Shine On