Red-tailed hawk at arboretum

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I was thrilled to see this Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) recently while walking at The Lexington Arboretum.

Immature Red-tailed Hawk

I was guessing its identity by its size and the reddish barred tail. Once I was able to see dark spots on its “belly band,” I felt relatively sure it was a Red-tail.

Immature Red-tailed Hawk with belly band

In this close-up, I can almost ‘feel’ its soft feathered breast, but that beak looks formidable. I would love know what it’s looking at so intently.

Immature Red-Tailed Hawk close-up

I’m guessing this bird grew up at the Arboretum and, as a result, is somewhat tolerant of humans. I was amazed at how close I was able to get, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it. It’s a magnificent bird and I hope to see it again.

16 thoughts on “Red-tailed hawk at arboretum”

  1. Wow! Betty, what stunning photos of a stunning bird! How large is it? And those hawk eyes, how far can they see,
    i wonder? Yes, i too would like to know what he/she has got her/his eyes fixed on……. dinner!!

    1. Pauline, they are a large bird with a wing span of almost five ft., or 145 cm. I don’t know how far they can see, though I understand they often hunt small rodents while soaring high overhead and I have read that their eyesight is eight times more powerful than that of humans.

  2. I love all your photos, Betty–but that first one is especially stunning! I love how there’s such lovely and subtle patterning throughout–from the hawk’s feathers to the lichens on the tree to the tracery of branches and leaves in the background. The greens of the lichens are also echoed by the patch of green under the hawk’s eye.

    1. Patsy, your description of that photo encouraged me to take another look. Thanks much for sharing and allowing me see it through your eyes.

  3. I emailed Todd to see if anyone had a good photo of that bird. I’ve been watching him for several weeks as I walk at the Arboretum. Your photos are awesome.

    1. Thanks, Phyllis. The subject of this week’s blog will be the American Kestrel I saw at the Arboretum recently. I’m grateful for the Arboretum and the wildlife it attracts.

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