There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Red-tailed Hawk

Buteo jamaicensis

Large hawk
Brown upperparts
Lighter V-pattern on back
Pale underparts with brown streaks
Dark “belly band” across the abdomen
Broad, rounded wings
Dark bar on underside of wings
Short, wide tail
Short, dark, hooked beak
Juvenile: (above)
   Brown tail above, with dark bars
Adult: (below)
   Reddish tail above, pinkish-white below

Listen to its call.

I required assistance to correctly identify this bird. Apparently, it has a classic buteo silhouette (see below), which ruled out either the Sharp-shinned Hawk and Goshawk, both of which I was considering.

This bird was perched in a tree by King's Pond today when a group of crows decided they didn't want it there. It was a relatively small bird of prey and probably fairly young by the look of it. The crows started dive-bombing it, trying to knock it from the branch. I guess it knew it was outnumbered because it didn't even put up a fight. It just flew off, made a couple of circles over the area and went on its way.

Learn more about the Red-tailed Hawk.

Additional photos -- Adult Red-tailed Hawk:


1 comment:

  1. Fabulous bird, and it's NOT a duck! The picture in flight is amazing.