Red Tailed Buzzard
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|Another Photograph taken when we visited the Falconer Jan Prymaka.|
I have copied the following from This Web Site
Commonly known, even in the UK, by it's American name of Red-Tailed Hawk , it is actually a member of the Buteo family and so correctly called a Red-tailed Buzzard.
The Red Tailed Buzzard is the most widely distributed diurnal raptor in America. It breeds from central Alaska all the way down to Central America & the West Indies (hence the jamaicensis part of its Latin name, the originally classified birds were found in Jamaica). The more northerly birds will migrate south during winter to avoid the worst of the weather.
The Red-Tails will prey on small mammals, such as prairie dogs, rodents & birds. The females are able to catch prey up to the size of hares (jack rabbit or cottontail in US terms). There are reports of Red-Tailed Buzzards living in proximity to people catching domestic cats & those nesting in cities feeding predominantly on pigeons.
They will also feed on reptiles, quite often snakes, including rattlesnakes. To catch the rattlesnake, the hawk will approach the snake by walking with its wings outstretched making it look large & threatening. As it get closer it will bring its wing tips round to the front, so they are the closest point to the snake. When the snake strikes at the wing tips, which have no blood supply, so there is no risk to the hawk, the Red-Tail strikes out with its feet catching the snake below the head. The snake will usually be eaten whole.
Similar to the Common Buzzard, Red-Tails have large broad wings, which they use to catch thermals and soar around at height, without flapping they wings. This technique of flying, which uses the minimum energy, only flapping the wings when looking for the next thermal, is used to travel thousands of miles when migrating. They also have the ability to wind-hover (staying motionless with respect to the ground by flapping the wings) & to kite (staying motionless with respect to the ground by holding the wings still & angled to provide lift from the wind), similar to Kestrels.
Red-tails are monogamous, tending only to find a new partner on the death of the existing one. Once paired they will normally share the same territory for hunting. They are very territorial, with the female being most protective around the nesting area & the male protecting the hunting area which can vary between a half to two square miles. Red-Tails are quite prepared to atack much larger Golden Eagles & Bald Eagles, in protection of their territory.
Breeding starts at around 3 years old & occurs around the end of March to the beginning of May, though it may start as early as January or as late as September, depending on the area the birds live in. Up to five eggs are laid. Both the male & female share the incubation, which lasts around 30 days, starting when the first egg is laid. The eggs hatch at 1-2 day intervals. The young are covered in white down & start to grow feathers around two weeks after hatching. They are fully fledged around 45 days from hatching, with the males fledging quicker than females. The parents will look after the young for up to 4 weeks after fledging & the young may stay in close proximity to the parents until autumn.
Red-Tails compete with larger owls for nesting sites & both will prey upon the young of the others in order to steal the nests. Unless evicted by owls, the nests may be used repeatedly in subsequent years, growing up to 3 feet in depth as it is added to each year.
In the wild Red-Tailed Buzzards on average live 6-7 years, the longest recorded lifespan is around 20 years. In captivity, they may live up to 30 years.
The Red-Tailed Buzzard is a popular bird for falconry, due to its size & enthusiasm for catching prey. They can be very temperamental, especially once used for hunting. They require regular flying to keep fit & retain the training. Due to the very restrictive laws on falconry in America, the Red-Tail is very often a beginners bird, often taken from the wild as a young bird (a passage hawk) & re-released at the end of the 2 year period of training.
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Hello Mike !
Textbook composition here . Very effective and eye-catching post, with the focus on its eye. I find the image perhaps a tad too bright.
I just made a quick workshop to how you what I mean.
Well done in any case!
Very nice portrait shot Mike, great sharpness and POV, well captured too. Good colours an very nice bg. This is a great composition. Thank you for posting.
Beautiful bird portrait and good light in your picture!
- [2008-10-04 15:49]
Firstly, this picture is Fabulous!
The sharpness is incredible, the colours are spot-on and the focus, centred on that amazingly acute eye, is stunning. All with a beautifully out-of-focus background.
And, if we ever criticised you before for not providing sufficient notes about your subject, all is forgiven now! A very interesting and informative note you have provided although, wisely, you have not let us into the secret of your superlative cameramanship!
Classical pose Mike, was about to say you have a steady hand when I noticed you had used a tripod.
Nevertheless and excellent capture pin sharp where it should be at the eye.
perfect pose here, great eye contact and very good details, nice n sharp. good colours, very life-like.
Genial retrato con una extraordinaria nitidez y detalles.
Colores bien tratados y una extensísima nota informativa.
Visita mi Blog.
Very good photo,beautiful portrait,very sharp.