Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Red Car Canyon: Afternoon Hawkwatch

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 10, 2014.  A huge Red Tailed Hawk has taken up residence in the Red Car Property neighborhood. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Unlike our resident nesting pair from the 2 Freeway, who were very open in hanging out atop trees, balcony railings and open branches, this Red Tail likes to hide amongst the dense branches of trees.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 10, 2014.  Late in the afternoon, I happened to be walking up the Red Car Property, when the huge Red Tail flew toward me, low through Red Car Canyon & landed in the branches of a pine tree.  You can tell it's an experienced hunter.  It landed in the tree with the sun just above and behind it, so any potential prey might be temporarily blinded should it look up toward the hawk.  Neighbors report seeing  hawks routinely using this technique in the morning & afternoon.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 10, 2014.  The hawk has a very large dark beak.  It may be the same hawk I photographed last month.  Overall, its feathers are darker in color, including a more reddish chest & belly than the Red Tails we're used seeing in the neighborhood. (These photos are overexposed due to the light in the canyon, so the hawk appears lighter that it really is.)