Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Red Car Property: Elusive Hawks

Photo: Diane Edwardson, July 28, 2009. Hawk on Red Car Property near Adelbert.

There have been many reports of hawks in the neighborhood this summer, and not just the usual Red Tail Hawk sightings. Neighbors have been frustrated in their efforts to get good photos of this year's hawks. (Thus, the poor quality photos we're posting here will have to suffice for now.)
On several occasions a young Red Shouldered Hawk has been seen circling above the Viaduct Footings and flying between the trees on the Adelbert end of the Red Car Property. If you have home on Lake View above Adelbert, there may be a nest in the trees up there.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 30, 2009. Small hawk on Red Car Property at Rose Scharlin Preschool.
Since the end of May, several neighbors reported seeing a hawk slowly flying as low as 6 feet above the ground between India and Red Car Canyon, just south of Rose Scharlin Preschool. Unfortunately, the above photo is the only one we've gotten so far.
It looks like a gigantic Kestrel. Yet it's still a smaller hawk with golden feathers on it's chest; blue gray feathers on its back; large vertical black stripes on its tail and very long legs. It may be a Cooper's Hawk or a Sharp Shinned Hawk. Both are bird-eating raptors who like wooded areas. According to a neighbor who is also a LA Zookeeper, Cooper's Hawks are known to hang out in the canyon area. There are lots of Mourning Doves (prey) in Red Car Canyon.
Two neighbors report seeing the hawk literally fly past their heads (in several different incidents) at the top of the Corralitas Public Staircase. It's also been seen flying between the trees in the canyon area between Silver Ridge and Corralitas. The mockingbirds often chase it between the trees.
On August 3rd, a Riverside Place neighbor wrote, "I keep seeing your bird (I think) it's a smaller sized bird of prey. Very pretty, it's very elusive though. I run in for the camera and it's gone. Saturday I saw it take a dove and was sitting on a power line with it only about 20' away in full view!"

UPDATE: Will Campbell has a fantastic photo of a Cooper's Hawk, with prey, on his blog from just a few weeks ago shot in his Silver Lake neighborhood south of Sunset.

If you have neighborhood hawk or wildlife photos, send them to us: redcarproperty@gmail.com. Do not attempt to feed or touch wildlife.