Tuesday, July 20, 2010

red-shouldered hawk ~ 07/20/10 ~ at home

red-shouldered hawk perched on coast Douglas fir
Buteo lineatus on Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii
Pinaceae

I'm glad to have this fir tree right next to our balcony. It's nature in action within 5 feet! The squirrels eat the unusual looking seed cones like corn on the cob. Plus, we get lots of birds searching for insects or perching on this tree.

We have other raptors around, I just haven't been able to capture them on camera. More often than not, I first hear ruckus from the crows (I like to call them the sheriffs of the bird world) before seeing them bombarding a perched hawk. Click on the scientific name above to hear the call of the red-shouldered hawk.

7 comments:

Janet said...

When I lived in SF I could barely walk 5 minutes in Golden Gate Park w/o hearing red shouldered hawks screaming their heads off - amazing how they are overtaking red tails in so many places.

Nature ID said...

Hey, Janet. Do you have the story about red shoulders taking over areas of red tails?

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Oh my, we have a 'resident' red-shouldered hawk here. We also have his favorite food source handy...reptiles abound here. Alligator and coast fence lizards, and various snakes (have a photo of one red shouldered caught red-beaked with the remains of an alligator lizard right outside the office here). Don't get me wrong, I love these raptors, but I love my reptiles too...I don't need to 'control' those. We really could use some extra gopher control around the place...where's a barn owl when you need one? :P

Janet said...

"the story" ? No... just that at least in the Bay Area their numbers have increased over decades and while they are written as prefering habitat near water (which is true) they seem to be adapting to drier habitats as well. You might check if Golden Gate Audobon & other local chapters have comparitive numbers over past 20-30 yrs say for Xmas or Presidents day counts?
They DO like water - I'll never forget hearing a "crunch crunch" while walking around North Lake (GG Park) many yrs ago and looking up to see a RSH perched low above the lake pinioning a crayfish to the branch w/ her talons while methodically shelling it. But totally reliable places to spot them in SF now include the light standards along the median strip on Sunset and the poles along the street side (not the Hway per se) along the Great Highway.

Janet said...

Actually...just google "red shouldered hawk expanding range" and you'll find some interesting stuff.

Nature ID said...

Curbstone, a friend of mine was happy to report a couple great blue herons caught several gophers in her back yard last year. Of course, she's only 2 blocks away from an annual nesting site.

Janet, thanks for the search hint. I find it interesting they're found in much of the eastern US and coastal CA. I wonder if our local ones also eat shore crabs.

Janet said...

OH COOL about the gbh hunting right in her yard!!!!! We used to watch them do that in GG Park, in a meadow they could spot from their nests on treetops on islands in Stow Lake.

Interesting thought about the RSH & shore crabs. Bet they would!