A Red-tailed Hawk’s first flights (Part 2, getting better)

Con­tin­ued from A Red-tailed Hawk’s first flights (Part 1)

The next day the juve­nile Red-tailed Hawk spread his/her wings more eas­i­ly and flew far more often. Juvy was get­ting stronger. Explor­ing the sky was begin­ning to become excit­ing — there were many places to go, lots of trees to look down upon.  And there were oth­er birds out there. Lots of them.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk on a branchHmmm, I won­der what’s out there today.”

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, launching Let’s go see!

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, soaring

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk soaringSome­times there is almost no work to this at all.”

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk in for a landingJuve­nile Red-tails watch their feet intent­ly while land­ing. Hawks are long-sight­ed. They need to be able to spot prey from great heights so their eyes have become adapt­ed to that need over the cen­turies. But that means that their near vision is not as good. Remem­ber how, when you first learned to dri­ve, how you were wor­ried about keep­ing the prop­er dis­tance from the curb at the cor­ner when exe­cut­ing a turn?
It is the same with Hawks. Learn­ing to land is the trick­i­est of maneu­vers so they watch their dis­tance close­ly. Lat­er when they come to know where there feet are they won’t need to do this.

And off again; the rest peri­ods are get­ting short­er.

Juvenile Red-tailed HawkAnd off again.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk What’s over there?”

By the third day the art of fly­ing was being mas­tered; among oth­er new maneu­vers the bird was learn­ing to drop his legs to slow his/her flight.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk legs loweredLegs low­ered for sta­bil­i­ty,

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk

Time for a lit­tle fun in the sky

Meet­ing a sib­ling.

Sibling Red-tail Hawks Play­ing in the sky

Red-tail Hawk resting

Enough for today, and the end of my shoot as the juve­nile left short­ly and so did I.

The next day I returned but the juve­nile didn’t.  After a two hour wait, I gave it up.
So, for me the sto­ry is over for this year.  You can bet I will be back next year!

Your com­ments & ques­tions much appre­ci­at­ed

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4 Responses to A Red-tailed Hawk’s first flights (Part 2, getting better)

  1. Corona says:

    To-night Ien­joyed the sto­ry and pic­tures of the Red-tailed Hawk’s First Flights, part 1 & 2. It’s a fas­ci­nat­ing jour­ney. Good way to end an evening.

  2. Sharon Salisbury says:

    Your pho­tos are mirac­u­lous and your nar­ra­tion explain­ing what the bird was doing was fas­ci­nat­ing. I can’t wait for fur­ther posts and also to read the archives. Thank you for record­ing the rarely seen beau­ty and won­der­ment of the nat­ur­al world. I may have some Spot­ted Owls for you if you are inter­est­ed. I live in Mill Val­ley.

  3. connie berto says:

    These are amaz­ing pho­tos of “our” red­tail chick (as if we had any­thing to do with the nest­ing suc­cess way up on our old Mon­terey Pine!). Just the fact that the par­ents built a nest out of red­wood twigs — one at a time, with­out blue­prints or work crew — is a mar­vel. Thank you, and next year I will noti­fy you ear­li­er in the process! C

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