Unexpected encounter with a Red-shouldered Hawk

As I stepped out of my car at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge recently, this Red-shouldered Hawk zipped by at eye level out of nowhere, and quickly disappeared into the trees lining the road. At first he stayed hidden, but then he emerged cautiously, peering out as if to get his bearings.

The eBird entry for this medium-sized Hawk (Buteo lineatus) illustrates how widespread their range can be. They are generally found year-round in much of the eastern United States, and are very common here in South Florida.

Audubon’s description of the Red-shouldered is reminiscent of many lovely walks in the woods: “A hawk of the woodlands, often heard before it is seen. The clear whistled calls of this hawk are conspicuous, especially in spring; in the east, Blue Jays often give a near-perfect imitation of this call.” (Audubon.org)

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It’s always a treat to encounter a beautiful, cinnamon-breasted Red-shouldered Hawk like this, especially when unexpected and so close!

38 thoughts on “Unexpected encounter with a Red-shouldered Hawk

  1. wow, how majestic!

    On Sun, Oct 10, 2021 at 4:02 PM Birder’s Journey wrote:

    > Birder’s Journey posted: ” As I stepped out of my car at Ding Darling > National Wildlife Refuge recently, this Red-shouldered Hawk zipped by at > eye level out of nowhere, and quickly disappeared into the trees lining the > road. At first he stayed hidden, but then he emerged cauti” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have wonderful memories of taking pictures of a red-shouldered hawk on my one and only visit to South Florida. Mine was as patient at being photographed as your’s seems to have been. Great photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So nice to read about your experience, Amy! Yes, exactly… This hawk seem to be very patient while I took his photograph, just sat on the open branch even when I moved a few feet to the right or the left.

      Like

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