This gallery contains 3 photos. Perhaps the most commonly seen hawk in Metro Vancouver (if not North America) is the Red-Tailed Hawk. I spotted this banded adult on a power line while driving through Ladner (en route to another area for birding on the first day of the Great Backyard Bird Count 2016). Photographed on February 12.
this encounter gave me great opportunities to get detailed shots of the RTHW.
f/8, 1/400, 500mm, ISO 160
Generally, I see these birds of prey roosting high up in trees or freeway signs. This one was exceptional for being only about 10-15 feet off the ground. This large, magnificent raptor was not the least fazed by my lens, nor the constant flow of traffic on the road. Not until I reviewed this photo later on my laptop did I see that it wore a(n) (open) leg band … the first time I’ve seen a bird of prey in the wild sporting one. Photographed on February 12.
you can clearly see the band on its left leg (I was only able to see a few numbers and letters)
f/8, 1/400, 439mm, ISO 125
The long-distance photo below shows the red tail for which this hawk is named–but it’s only visible from the back. Photographed on March 10, also while driving through Ladner. My first encounter with a Red-Tailed Hawk was two years ago at the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary–and since then, my knowledge of raptors has expanded considerably beyond Bald Eagles and Cooper’s Hawks.
this RTHW is on the hunt for prey (staples of its diet include voles, mice, and rabbits).
f/8, 1/640, 500mm, ISO 160
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