Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Visit from a hawk

Red-tailed hawk photo compliments of Nature Photography by Bob Moul
Yesterday afternoon I went out our back door onto our screened porch. On top of our camper about 20 feet away perched a hawk. I stood motionless, hoping not to startle the avian visitor. It looked about 2 feet tall from head to the tip of its tail and sported white feathers on its legs that looked like fluffy pajamas.

I tapped lightly on a window to alert husband Walter. Before Walter could round up his camera, the raptor launched off the camper. For a heart-stopping moment--my heart, not the bird’s--it flew straight toward me then veered upward and over our roof. That wingspan looked huge close up. According to my field guide the red-tailed hawk wingspan is around 48 inches. 

My bird book and several Web sites I visited described the species as well known and common. But it is not common in my backyard. It was a memorable moment in our backyard birding. The gorgeous image captured by Bob Moul is the best I found of the white feathers that were so striking on “our” hawk’s legs.

I will be visiting Bob’s site, Nature Photography by Bob Moul, more often. His galleries include a wide spectrum of dazzling photos of things wild and wonderful. I especially appreciate that he includes common name, scientific name, where the photo was taken and, usually, habitat information. Thanks, Bob, for the use of your photo!


  1. That must have been wonderful to see so closely. Nature in your own backyard.

  2. Hawks are plentiful in our area. Back in the day--I've seen them swoop down and carry off our live baby chicks before we knew what was happening. Several years ago, we had a bald eagle "stealing" our small cats. Both birds are huge!

  3. Sounds like that hawk was aiming for you!