Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Red Tailed Hawks

Two years ago, in the tree across the road from our house, I spotted a pair of  Red Tailed Hawks  building their nest.  They hatched two young ones and once they were flying, we never saw them up close again. The following year a Great Horned Owl took it over and then the wind blew it down.
I was sure I'd never see them again but then on the way to work one day, I noticed a group of blackbirds guarding a nest site in an old tree and sure enough, within a few weeks, I saw the hawks.

Over a week or so I watched the couple build the nest, and then for days, all I could see was her head, as she patiently sat in the nest.

A few days ago, when I looked, the nest appeared to be abandoned.     From past experience, I've learned that the babies go from being newly hatched to flying very quickly and then the nest is abandoned but this seemed much too quick.  
I made a special point to go by the nest at every chance and finally I saw the female.  She was sitting a few trees away, just watching and probably listening.  I'm sure she was glad to get away for a while.  The next day, several heads could be seen bobbing up and down so it's safe to assume that she has at least two. 

I hope I am able to catch them teaching the young to fly again.  It's amazing to watch the parents circle and dive while calling out to their reluctant young one.  Sometimes, it takes hours to convince them to leave their safe nest.  After enough coaxing, they'll then step out onto the branch and balance there for a few more hours.

As I've mentioned before, I'm not good at taking photos of wildlife, so these paintings will have to do.


  1. The paintings are lovely - as ever!

    And I would question your statement about taking photos of wildlife. Your meadowlark was superb!

  2. Your paintings are beautiful. What great detail! I only see Red-Tails sitting on power lines. What a neat experience to watch them nest and rear their young.

  3. Real nice expression.I had a friend rehab an injured red tail, and it was fun to have it perch on your arm feeling its strength.They are very aware of what is going on around them and often flee when a camera is pointed, or they sense you stopping for an observation.

  4. The paintings are beautiful! I have sparrows nesting in the eaves of the house opposite my office window. Seeing them go back and forth makes me tired just watching. I thought teenagers were hard work, baby birds seem to be even more constantly hungry, and the mum can't just pop to the shop...

  5. Amazing piece of art :)))
    I made also painting but I'm not so good !!!
    Wonderful mastercraft...
    my compliments :))

  6. Love your work! The hawk really grabbed my attention.

  7. I just took some picture of a red-tailed hawk and two little ones on a nest. I'll be posting them soon. Your paintings are just amazing! I'm so jealous - that is one thing I'd love to do but just don't have the nerve to try. Yes, I bought all the water colors and the paper and ...still they are sitting in my cupboard! You are so talented!!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.