This isn’t a great shot; normally I wouldn’t post it because it’s not a high-quality image. But it is the first acceptable shot of someone relatively new in the neighborhood: a Red-tailed Hawk. I think he may have been here last summer; I could hear a raptor-like cry, but could never see anything, so I thought it was just a passer-by. But this summer, the cry grew louder and more persistent, and searching with a pair of 10 x 42 binoculars, I came across this guy perched near the top of a dead tree at the far end of a neighbor’s property.
Shooting into the sun at a great distance made this a tough go, and I needed post work to get him to this level. So I’ve got my sights set on him and will be trying over the next few months to get a much better shot. I don’t know if any of my backyard enhancements that have increased my bird traffic has made the area more attractive to him as well (a more target-rich environment, you might say), but I now believe there are two hawks and they may be nesting. The closest I’ve seen him was a total accident; I went outside (sans camera) to get the mail one day last week and he took flight from a pine tree across the street from me. Cursing my bad timing, I resolved to be more attentive to his sounds and possible movements (I can hear him as I write this — and I’m surprised that he’s so vocal. I thought hawks were the strong, silent type).
So I’m on a hawk hunt; wish me luck!