Red Tail Near Miss

All things winged, in the field or your own private aviary.

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Steve Barten
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Location: NE Illinois

Red Tail Near Miss

Post by Steve Barten » April 7th, 2013, 3:44 pm

In the spring I often see a pair of Red-tailed Hawks hunting squirrels around my bird feeders. On March 3rd I looked out and saw the pair in the tree overlooking the feeder.
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Whenever they arrived, the squirrels dove for cover. One bird would conspicuously fly away as if to show the squirrels it was safe to come out. The other remained behind, waiting for the squirrels to emerge. The first hawk then circled back after a few minutes.
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I saw one dive at a squirrel and miss badly. Both hawks then flew away, so I went to make lunch. About 20 minutes later I glanced out the window and saw this:
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I ran upstairs for my camera just in case. Sure enough, a squirrel had run up the baffle on the pole on which the bird feeders are mounted. It keeps the squirrels off the feeder, but provides a shelter for them to hide in temporarily when the hawks come by. The squirrel poked his head out and the hawk pounced.
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He grabbed the squirrel’s tail and the pole itself, which kept him from pulling the squirrel out.
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Stalemate. The hawk looks like he’s thinking, “Now what do I do?”
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The squirrel’s tail slipped free.
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You can see squirrel tail hair on the pole itself and a tuft of hair at the base of the pole. The hawk kicked off.
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And flew away.
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And the mate followed.
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Thanks for looking!

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chrish
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Re: Red Tail Near Miss

Post by chrish » April 8th, 2013, 6:21 am

Holy cow, what a great series.

You ought to able to win some awards number 5 or 6. I would certainly find some photo contest somewhere.

Of course, some wildlife photo contests snobs don't like photos that show man made objects, but they need to get in touch with reality.

Outstanding photo series.

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Dell Despain
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Re: Red Tail Near Miss

Post by Dell Despain » April 8th, 2013, 8:17 am

That's an awesome documentation Steve. The photos are outstanding. Chris is probably right, you should win a photo contest w/ those shots and narrative.

Very interesting, and thanks for posting them.

-Dell

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Steve Barten
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Location: NE Illinois

Re: Red Tail Near Miss

Post by Steve Barten » April 8th, 2013, 1:13 pm

Thanks for the compliments, Chrish and Dell.
If you like this kind of thing, I documented a successful hunt at the same feeder (with my old camera) on 2/12/11 and posted it here: http://www.fieldherpforum.com/forum/vie ... ail#p52428

Steve B

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pete
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Re: Red Tail Near Miss

Post by pete » April 8th, 2013, 3:46 pm

THAT is f%ckin AWESOME!! :thumb:

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Andy Avram
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Re: Red Tail Near Miss

Post by Andy Avram » April 8th, 2013, 3:49 pm

Yup, that is an awesome action series!

Tamara D. McConnell
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Re: Red Tail Near Miss

Post by Tamara D. McConnell » April 8th, 2013, 4:57 pm

Mind-blowingly wonderful.

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Crimson King
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Re: Red Tail Near Miss

Post by Crimson King » April 17th, 2013, 6:01 pm

I have to agree with the others here. Awesome! Thanks for posting.

:Mark

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PNWHerper
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Re: Red Tail Near Miss

Post by PNWHerper » April 18th, 2013, 2:38 pm

Wow Scott,

I think this is the coolest bird post I have ever seen here! :shock: :beer:

What a great photographic capture of a near-miss and a great record of the hunting red-tailed hawks will do in pairs!

Your photos are beautiful, crisp and exciting. Excellent work! :thumb:

The expression on the face of the hawk hanging upside down is priceless.

WOW.... :shock:

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