About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk comes for a visit

I was told to send you these pics and video. I have been watching these 2 young - I think - red-tailed hawks for the last month - this morning the 2 were flying in and out of trees near our house when one took-off from a tree about 20 yards from the house and must have "miscalculated" his height and flew into an upstairs window and was temporarily stunned. I took these pics from inside about 2 ft. from the bird. Is this a young Red-Tailed hawk or a Cooper's? ~ Jim

It looks and sounds like a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk. I'm glad his first interaction with glass wasn't a fatal experience.
There is a new book out by Richard Crossley that we just brought in to the stores. It’s called The Crossley ID Guide. Next time you come in take a look. It is a different kind of book that features large photographs of birds compiled together in their common habitat. On the Red-tailed hawk page it shows the birds from juvenile to adult and regional variations. Each realistic scene on the page is supposed to help people train their brain to analyze and identify  birds seen in the field faster.  

Some characteristics of a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk:
  • Tail is dull brown with many thin tail bands
  • Moderately short, square tail
  • In flight tail is fan-shaped
  • Mottled white shoulder patches
  • Thick, dark streaks across belly
  • White chest
  • Bare yellow legs
  • Screaming call “Keeearrr
I’ve been watching a couple young red-tails over by the East Lansing store too. They were calling and learning to ride the air currents. Sometimes they come to perch on our light posts outside the store. Magnificent! Thank you for sharing your photos and video. Do you want me to post it on our blog? (http://lansingwbu.blogspot.com/)

Sarah - Thanks for your response. We've had Red-Tailed hawks around here in the past - so that was my conclusion about this one - last week I saw two juveniles - siblings I'm guessing "sharing" a squirrel. They fly around the woods around our house screeching at each other and probably "mom”! Feel free to post the pics and video on your site.

Thanks! I'm sure lots of people will enjoy a close up of this beautiful bird.


Jake said...

Wow!That's one big baby. I've never seen a red tail hawk. Jake

Mary Margaret said...

What a neat video. I hope the bird was ok. I don't think I've ever seen this bird either. - MMM

Ron said...

wow close up .. listening to the baby do the immature red tail cry was fascinating.

Anonymous said...

thats a massive hawk!

Anonymous said...

I work at a nature center...I am pretty sure that is a juvenille red tail hawk. I'm interested in the new book too.