Friday, January 07, 2011

Red-tailed Hawk

This picture was taken well before the snows began to fly. But I just love it, so I wanted to share it with you.

Red-tailed Hawks are the most common hawk in this area. In fact, if you see a hawk, but aren't sure what kind it is, you have an 80% chance of getting it right if you call it a red-tail.

Red-tailed hawks are majestic, powerful birds. I've had the opportunity the past 10 years or so to work with several birds of prey, including red-tails, for educational purposes.

They are impressively large birds. Based on size alone, they look like they could weigh between 10 and 15 lbs. Here's a picture of me and a co-worker with a couple of hawks.

Oh wait. That's the wrong one. Those are owls. Silly me. :)

This is it.
 Wow. I'd forgotten how long ago this picture was taken. 
I'm happy to say the uniforms have gotten a bit better. But I still have and wear that belt buckle.

There are two different kinds of hawks in this picture. A red-tail on the left held by my co-worker, and a swainson's hawk on the right held by me. They are pretty similar in size, and both weigh about the same. So again, even though they are about the size of my cat who weighs 10 lbs we must remember that size alone does not determine weight. 

Consider what a hawk is made of. Feathers and hollow bones. Well, and some pretty powerful muscles. So take all those things and put them on a scale, and you have a red-tailed hawk that weighs in at a hefty 1.5 - 2 lbs! 

There you go. A little bit of information on one of my most favorite things. So keep your eyes to the skies and watch for those hawks.


HappyOrganist said...

Hi Wendy,
Cody *Loves* hawks :) Maybe I should show this to him..
anyhow, just saying hi mostly 'cause I actually had something to say on this one. That reminds me of the other day when we had several hawks circling low around our house (freaky weird and very interesting).
that's all.

Wendy said...

Glad you stopped by. :)

Oak in the Seed said...

We have many "Tails" here too and I never tire of seeing them. I even spotted one who had stored its squirrel kill in its own frozen food section: on the top of a telephone pole!