Saturday, September 15, 2012

Red-Tailed Hawk

While I was at Putney Mountain hawk-watching, Gerry took our westies out to a nice spot on our property that has a great view of the valley. While Merry and Pippin explored the area for chipmunks, Gerry enjoyed visits from an adult and immature red-tailed hawks.

adult red-tailed hawk

immature red-tailed hawk

One way to identify an immature red-tail, since he lacks the red tail, is the "belly band". Both adults and immatures have this characteristic.

Another identifying mark on red-tails is the "patagial bar", the dark bar on the leading edge of the inner wing. 
This is a great time of year to be outside and enjoy migrating hawks!


  1. We have our "own" Red Tail Hawk family, who have nested the last 4 years on a window sill at the Franklin Institute Science Museum. This year, the Tiercel was accidently killed shortly after the eggs hatched. After a couple of weeks trying to cope, with the help of food drops from good folks at the Museum, a miraculous occurance...Mom Red Tail brought home a "stepdad" who helped her finish raising her family, who all fledged successfully. Now we are hoping Mom and her new mate will return in the late winter to the nest on the sill. Fascinating stuff. We've all learned so much! Red Tails at the Franklin Institute...the blog