Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Red Car Property: That's No Turkey

Photo: Diane Edwardson, November 22, 2015. An enormous Red Tailed Hawk was one of a pair hunting on the north end of the Red Car Property.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

I heard a very loud crashing of branches and looked up to see a huge Red Tail trying to balance in a Eucalyptus off Adelbert.  Usually, adult Red Tails are not that clumsy.  I suspect it was chasing a squirrel and missed, or the squirrel jumped to escape and went tumbling down to the ground.  
Photo: Diane Edwardson, November 22, 2015.  It took a moment for the  Red Tail to regain its composure, it was panting, as I've seen them do after making a kill.  It must be the adrenaline of the hunt.   It sat in the tree watching something on the ground below for a few minutes before taking off, circling low around the north end of the property a few times, looking for alternate prey.  Considering neither AM/PM nor Rick's keep their trash bins covered, there should be an ample supply of rats on this end of the property too.

The first hawk quickly gained altitude, soaring in larger circles in the high winds and landed near the top of the DWP power line tower across Fletcher behind Home Restaurant.

The second hawk had been calling to the first throughout this encounter. I don't know if the second hawk was its mate or one of this year's babies.  Red Tails will hang around with their parents for the better part of a year while they learn to hunt.