Red-shouldered Hawk For Bird Photography Weekly

by Larry Jordan on February 2, 2009

Red-shouldered Hawk Preening photo by Larry Jordan

I spotted this Red-shouldered Hawk on a recent trip to the Sacramento Natinal Wildlife Refuge.  I got several decent captures of this bird, but I like this one the best.

This is one of my all time favorite raptors for several reasons.  Its colorful beauty is probably the main reason.  Take a look at this bird pulling up to land on a post (it’s not the greatest shot but you can see this hawks beautiful markings).

The heavy black and white bands on the wings and tail, as well as the rufous shoulders and, more importantly, the translucent cresent-shaped windows at the base of the primaries distinguish this raptor from all other North American birds of prey.

One of the other reasons I love this bird is that I was able to watch a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks mate and raise their young.  You can read about that great experience here and you can see more great Bird Photography Weekly photos here.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Mick February 2, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Those are great photos. The rufous color is beautiful but the colors seen in the in-flight photo are outstanding.

Micks last blog post..Sulphur-crested Cockatoos


Thomas February 3, 2009 at 2:48 am

You freezed the Hawk in a perfect pose. I love that turn of the head. Beautiful


Larry February 3, 2009 at 6:30 am

@Mick thanks for the comment. It sure is easier to get good captures when you have a great subject like Sulphur-crested Cockatoos or Red-shouldered Hawks

@Thomas thank you for stopping by but where is your link to your website? I love the woodpecker series, especially the Black-rumped Flameback. You can see Thomas’ site by clicking on “Walk the Wilderness” in the blogroll


Jim Arnold February 3, 2009 at 8:27 am

I know what you mean about the Red-shouldered hawk being a favorite. I spent all day yesterday at my daughters house off Bowman Rd. I could hear the Red-shouldered off and on all day. We always do when we go there. I also hear one often at my house in east Redding. I hope to get more shots of them at Frank’s this year.


Owlman February 3, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Great photos. I was lucky to run into a red shouldered this weekend.

Owlmans last blog post..Squirrel alert!


Larry February 3, 2009 at 10:09 pm

@Jim thanks for stopping by my blog. I love hearing them around here too. I’ve seen one several times around our neighbor’s property but have not yet discovered the nest site.

I hope Frank removed the branches he was going to cut to get a better shot of his RSHA this spring

@Owlman sorry to hear of your squirrel problem. I think I have the same problem with a nest box I put up for Kestrels. I think I will probably move it.


Kyle February 7, 2009 at 10:06 am

Beautiful photos, Larry. I, too, absolutely love these gorgeous raptors, and I get to see them semi-regularly at a couple of locations nearby. Not often close enough to get shots like yours, but at least close enough to enjoy their beauty in flight. Great post!

Kyles last blog post..SkyWatch Friday #30


Bird Girl February 10, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Hi Larry –
Boy, that first shot of the Red-shoulder is beautiful – not your usual pose. And you are right about the back of the bird with wings and tail spread eagle – so awesome! We don’t appreciate this beauty as we should because we are always concentrating on the face and the EYE!
Thanks for commenting on my RSH – I’m not too familiar with them and I have lots of trouble ID’ing the juveys!
Love the story about the Red-shoulder nest and the pictures were awesome! You have some photographer friends with very good glass 😉 Thanks!

Bird Girls last blog post..Look WHOOO is napping in the nest box!!!


Ken Davis January 19, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Red Sholders are one of my favorites, Love the great pic landing on the fence, what a beautiful raptor.



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