Red-tailed Hawk Takes Off For Skywatch Friday

by Larry Jordan on February 12, 2009

Red-tailed Hawk Just Taking Off photos by Larry Jordan

Not a very interesting sky, but on my way home from work last night, this is the sky I saw.   I caught this Red-tailed Hawk sitting in the top of an oak tree right on the road.  Obviously I had to try to capture a couple of pictures.  It was an overcast day and getting pretty dark so not much contrast but I liked the bird’s form as it takes off.

The Red-tailed Hawk is the most common and widespread hawk in North America.  It’s most distinguishing field mark when seen from below is the dark patagial bar at the front edge of the wing as seen in this photo.

This coloring is the most common morph in the West but there are several intermediate colored birds between this bird and the very dark “Harlan’s” race.  There is also a very light colored morph called the “Krider’s” Red-tailed Hawk that is very pale with a whitish tail, found in the central plains of Canada and the US.

You can find other Red-tailed Hawk posts by typing “red-tailed hawk” into the search in the right sidebar and hitting the “enter” key.  You can also find some really great sky photos at Skywatch Friday.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Sally in WA February 12, 2009 at 10:19 pm

Wonderful photos of the hawk. I think they are beautiful birds and never get tired of seeing them.

Sally in WAs last blog post..Skywatch Friday #31 – Mount Baker


Gattina February 12, 2009 at 10:23 pm

Honnestly I prefer to look at this beautiful hawk ! it’s a long time I haven’t seen one in real ! but I see skies every day, lol !

Gattinas last blog post..SKYWATCH FRIDAY


kallen305 February 13, 2009 at 2:46 am

A sky with a hawk as lovely as that is indeed interesting.

I love how you were able to capture it when i was taking off.

Very well done

kallen305s last blog post..Skywatch Friday-Sky Scraper Sky


Rottlady February 13, 2009 at 3:47 am

Two great captures here! They are beautiful birds indeed!

Rottladys last blog post..Skywatch Friday #11 Ozarks Sunsets


Avril February 13, 2009 at 5:43 am

Wow !! Those are amazing!
I tried to capture a hawk in the Drakensberg last weekend but no luck! Thanks for your comments on my skies. There is also a Falcon Centre in the Champagne Valley which we were keen to go to but they were closed because of the bad weather. Pity – will have to try on our next visit.


Larry February 13, 2009 at 6:16 am

@Sally me too. Raptors are awe inspiring to me

@Gattina I’m glad you enjoyed them

@Kallen thank you. I love your sky reflection captures

@Rottlady thank you. Amazing sunsets you have there in the Ozarks


Tammie February 13, 2009 at 8:40 am

That first image looks as though the bird jumped into the air, the second looks like the wings took over. So great to see images like this!

Tammies last blog post..Some Days, Take My Breath Away


Colin Campbell February 13, 2009 at 1:18 pm

You captured the movement of the bird really nicely. Take care.

Colin Campbells last blog post..Skywatch Friday


Kyle February 13, 2009 at 3:05 pm

As far as I’m concerned, such a great close-up of a hawk like that will always make for interesting skies!

Great SkyWatch post, Larry!

Kyles last blog post..Coastal Texas Recovery Update


Larry February 13, 2009 at 9:28 pm

@Tammie since I began taking more photographs of the birds, I have seen things that the human eye can’t usually see. Being able to see the way birds actually leap off of their perches into the air is one of them.

@Colin thanks for the comment

@Kyle thank you so much for your opinion on this post. To my way of thinking, raptors always make for interesting skies!


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