Every morning last week I was tantalized by the pale flash of the underside of a hawk's wings as I drove down the hill road. Somebody has parked a deer rib cage upright on a fence post there, for whatever reason, and I surmise that the hawk is shrewdly loitering and waiting for easy meals of whatever might dine upon the carcass. My first thought was "Red-Tail!" because they are so common. One morning, however, he settled in a tree near enough the road that I could stop and watch him for as many minutes as I could spare in my early commute, and he looked so big ("...about nineteen inches tall, weighs two and a half pounds, and has a wingspread of around four feet."), his beak so ferocious, that I thought it must be a bigger member of that family. I'm so used to seeing Red-Tailed Hawks way up in the sky that I have, apparently, forgotten how they are constructed and that they are, most definitely, predators. Yesterday he did me the favor of tipping his rusty red tail feathers at me. It's a dead giveaway.
|photo from Hawk Migration Notes|
There in the tree thirty feet from me he looked gigantic and ominous as a bald eagle!
My respect for the familiar bird is renewed.