Hawk Encounter

red-tailed hawk from below

A red-tailed hawk stands watch above our front sidewalk.

We saw a large bird in our neighbor’s maple tree 18 months ago. Today a similar bird (a red-tailed hawk, please comment if you disagree) appeared in the large tree in front of our house. It was the robins who brought it to our attention, sounding uncharacteristically alarmed in the outer branches.

Just like last year’s bird, it was kind enough to pose for pictures. But this year we have a better camera, so we got better pictures. Seven-image phototale after the jump.

When we first noticed the hawk, it appeared to be watching something intently.

Red-tailed hawk stalking its prey

A red-tailed hawk stalks its prey.

As I maneuvered into position for a better shot, the hawk pounced. It appeared to have a squirrel.

Hawk pounces on squirrel

The red-tailed hawk pounces on a grey squirrel with a red tail.

It spent some time moving its wings around to adjust its grip.

Hawk flaps its wings

A red-tailed hawk struggles with a squirrel.

Once the squirrel was sufficiently incapacitated, the hawk took flight.

Hawk takes flight

The red-tailed hawk takes flight from behind the tree.

It flew off over the neighbors’ rooftops, either to bring the meal home to its family, or to seek privacy from prying photographers and upset robins.

Hawk flying away with squirrel

A red-tailed hawk retreats with its prey, hoping to eat lunch without being disturbed by intrusive photographers.

A half-hour later, the hawk reappeared in the same tree.

red-tailed hawk from behind

The red-tailed hawk keeps a wary eye on a human in the distance.

It seems happy there.

red-tailed hawk from below

A red-tailed hawk stands watch above our front sidewalk.

RoZ observed today that with all the things that annoy us about La Crosse, we have a population of birds and other wildlife that people travel thousands of miles to see.

3 thoughts on “Hawk Encounter

  1. Wow. Really great photos! Red tail hawks are beautiful. I haven’t seen too many up close. You are right, we have an abundance of birds and wildlife here that is brilliant to witness. Thanks for sharing this encounter. Hope you keep us posted!

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