Saturday, February 05, 2011

Red-shouldered Hawk dines at our pond

On Thursday while recovering from being sick, I managed to get these photos. These photos were taken from inside so the glass quality is reduced a great deal. If you did not already know I use a 400mm f 5.6 "toy" lens. I read it was called a toy lens because a real lens would be a  400mm f2.8 lens and they cost around $8000 and are very heavy. My lens is a toy because it cost just over $1000 and it is light enough to carry around without a Sherpa or a tripod, yet it produces some really sharp images.

I've been seeing this Red-shouldered Hawk perched on the willows over the pond, usually if I move it flies away instantly. This day it had its prey locked in. Our feeders were still buzzing and there were two squirrels on the porch out in the open. Do the birds and squirrels know something we don't or just oblivious to this hawk.

The Red-shouldered Hawks diet consists of small mammals like voles, mice and chipmunks. They also eat amphibians and reptiles. They will eat birds at feeders, I think they can not chase birds as well as the Sharp-shinned or Coopers Hawks can.  Our cat does pretty well getting voles and mice, and I don't think we have chipmunks. The pond is full of frogs and painted turtles, so to a hawk like this it is a diner.
The hawk grabbed something.
Looks like a small frog to me, a quick snack for a large hawk like this one. We have been known to get Broad-winged Hawks here, they live on frogs practically. It a month the pond will be deafening with Spring Peepers and Upland Chorus Frogs calling by the thousands it sounds like.
I've got things to do, thanks for the snack!

15 comments:

Alice and Stuart said...

SO AWESOME!!! What great photos. Hope you're feeling better.

eileeninmd said...

I feel sorry for your yardbirds but the Hawk is an awesome looking bird. Great photos.

Randy Emmitt said...

Alice and Stuart,

I'm doing well, Meg is sick now with not the same thing I had. She is able to eat today, so she is improving.

Eileen,
Just saw the red-shouldered in the same perch a few minutes ago, it is to rainy and dark to get photos of here so far today. Looked bigger being puffed up because of the rain.

Janet said...

Sorry to hear that Meg got sick as well. Those hawk pics are stunning. I love seeing these magnificent birds up close.

Lanny said...

I really appreciate the beauty of the hawks. My friend and I were just talking about expecting the spring frog chorous to begin soon.

Carol said...

Randy, Glad you are feeling better. Sorry for Meg! What gorgeous colors and I love the soft feeling from the glass and your "toy" 400!! would love one myself! Great shots of your hawk. Beautiful creature.

PlantPostings said...

You captured some great photos of the hawk. I especially like the one in flight. Thanks for sharing!

Ian said...

Amazing photos. Thanks for sharing. Hope you both feel better soon.
cheers Ian

meemsnyc said...

Those are amazing photos! How nice to have such a cool visitor to your yard!

Town Mouse said...

Wow, those photos are amazing. Your toy seems to do the job just fine, thank you.

Lola said...

Gorgeous Pics. Your lens {toy or not} sure does it's job.

Sarah Knight said...

Wow, lovely shots!

Jan@Thanks for today. said...

Great shots of the red-shouldered hawk;-)

wiseacre said...

Great captures
Looks like Kermit to me too.

If your lens is a toy - mine must have come out of a cracker jack box.

John said...

Nice views of the hawk. I have a similar 'toy' lens. I use the 100-400mm Canon lens for all my bird photography. Would love to have one of those big prime lenses some day. Meanwhile, as you've shown, if you are in the right place at the right time you can still make wonderful pictures.