Friday, March 29, 2019

Red-tailed Hawk at Lake Hodges

Today's bird is Red-tailed Hawk. The barred tail of this bird indicates it is an immature bird. Next fall the rusty (unbarred) tail will molt in.

While the Red-tailed Hawk is widespread and often the "usual" hawk one encounters in North America, the Red-shouldered Hawk is more frequent in most of San Diego County. In fact, I probably see more Cooper's Hawks than Red-tails, too. American Kestrels and White-tailed Kites are next most frequent. Let's see, am I missing any others? Ferruginous Hawk, Bald Eagle, Swainson's Hawk, Merlin, Prairie Falcon, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Golden Eagle. Oh, I guess I left out Turkey Vulture, which can be the most numerically abundant raptor, and is right up there with Red-shouldered Hawk as most frequently seen. But now I'm way off-topic.

I was happy to get a flight shot at eye-level that is in focus. I've seen this same bird perched on this trail-side rock several times this winter at Lake Hodges. Maybe next time the sun will be out. One can hope.

Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Immature Red-tailed Hawk. Lake Hodges, California. March 1, 2019.

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