Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sky watch Friday: Red-tailed Hawk

The red-tailed hawk is one of the most common raptors that can be found in North America. They range all through out North America with the exception of the far north regions of Canada. One reason for their success, where many other species have declined due to mans interference, is that when it comes to food they are generalists, meaning that they have a very diverse diet. This allows them to adapt well in a variety of different habitats because they are able to find food. So you can find red-tails in Minnesota in the winter, where they are hunting for rodents under the snow, or you can find red-tails in the desert where they are hunting lizards and snakes or flying in the skies over Yellowstone, like this one was, hunting for ground squirrels.

Another reason for that red-tails have been so successful is their ability to adapt to us. The most common place that I see red-tails here in Minnesota is perched on light pools on the side of highways and freeways. The reason for this is because human populations have a tendency to attract rodents, its because of all of our garbage. Freeways and highways are no exception. People often through garbage out their windows as they drive down to the road, this garbage attracts rodents, which in turn attracts the hawks. Since there are not many trees along the sides of the bigger highways and interstates, and since we are kind enough to keep the grass cut short it is an easy place for the red-tails to hunt for these rodents. The only obstacle are the cars, which is why quite a few red-tails, as well as other birds, are admitted to the clinic at The Raptor Center each year because they have been hit by a car.

20 comments:

Arija said...

Beautiful light on your Hawk, and s pretty against the blue sky.

Erin said...

beautiful capture of the hawk against the sky...
and interesting facts about him/her as well.
have a good weekend.

Texas Travelers said...

Great capture of the hawk against the sky.

One of my favorite birds with the different varieties and color variations. We usually try to go to south Texas during Hawk watch and see the thousands of hawks kettleing and streaming off.

I Like your writeup'

To see Skies over the Marsh, Click here.

Come visit anytime,
Troy and Martha

Pearl Maple said...

Great photo for Sky Watch Friday, do enjoy your bird reports really interesting to learn more about them all.

Eric(NL) said...

Another great action picture here, love it!!


Have a nice SWF.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Interesting post and very nice photo. I know how hard it is to get a good hawk shot because I've tried. The tail is very clear in this photo.

Babooshka said...

Perfectly composed, great info as always. I wish I had a tenth of the wildlife you have in your area.

P-TER said...

Beautiful schot !!!!!
gr.
P-TER

Chrissy said...

Wow, I clicked on ur blog from Skywatch at random but love it, great images and great shared interests. I am surprised how similar the butterflies are ...

Leora said...

What a lovely hawk. I'm glad they find livelihood because of human garbage (got to find something useful about garbage), though too bad they sometimes get hit by cars. It's a tough life.

Tara R. said...

Wonderful capture on the flight.

Kathiesbirds said...

Ah, ying and yang. Benefit and hazard all in one. I hope you don't have to rehab too many this year. I love seeing red-tailed hawks and all other raptors. I have a zone-tailed posted as my Skywatch Friday this week.

gwendolen said...

The red of its tail shows nicely with the light on it like that. Great capture.

J Bar said...

Good capture.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Greyscale Territory said...

The hawk looks so regal in the sky! I am amazed that they come close to humanity! Here in my part of the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia, I may see a hawk and usually it is very high in the sky as may be an eagle!

forestal said...

wonderful and informative post. thanks

dan

dAwN said...

Howdee Ecobirder! Thanks for the Great photo and info on the red tailed hawk.
Nice skywatch theme!

Really hope to see you August 15th in MN..bunch of us bloggers will bird and meet each other...and just hang out! Hope u can join us!

Martha in PA said...

I love to watch hawks soar. Beautiful photo of a magnificent bird!

My SWF

Maria said...

beautiful creature...
Last week, I had a hawk or an owl sweep through past my feeders ... put all my smaller birds on red-alert!
all the best, Maria

Sally in WA said...

He is just wonderful! I love seeing these birds in flight.