For a number of years I have been pleased to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count, an annual four-day event where bird watchers of all ages count birds to create a snapshot of where birds are across the continent.
Beginning on Friday of this year I began submitting my lists. On Sunday morning I set out to make another observation, and I was surprised to see no birds. Upon looking around a bit, I discovered that in fact I had ONE bird:
This handsome and imposing bird had apparently caused all the smaller birds to seek cover.
I usually see Gambel’s Quail, Western Scrub Jays, House Finches, White-Winged Doves, American Goldfinches, Lesser Goldfinches, Spotted Towhees, House Finches, Dark-eyed Juncos, Red-shafted Northern Flickers, Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, Curve-billed Thrashers, White-crowned Sparrows, Greater Roadrunners and Common Ravens around my house this time of year. Today I saw only a hawk.
I had gradually approached the bird to take some photos, and he took exception to my approaching so near.
The hawk flew from its perch …
… coming quite close to me at one point.
The hawk allowed me one more good look …
… before it turned to fly south …
…showing me a flash of red …
… as it flew away.
Within five minutes all the usual birds were back at their feeders. I resumed my bird count, with the addition of one Red-tailed Hawk.
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