Two Red-shouldered Hawks

As I was watching the Downy and the Siskins, I heard the choppy, agitated calls of a Red-shouldered Hawk not far away, and a minute or two later, a Red-shouldered Hawk flew out of the woods on the edge of the yard, and sailed low on outspread wings almost right over me, and up into a branch in the pecan tree in front of where I sat on a bench. As it flew over, it looked huge and its tail was spread, showing the bright black and white bands, and the checkered pattern of its wings, but its underside looked mostly pale, only vaguely reddish on the breast.

It perched on a branch with its back to me. Then, within a minute, a second Red-shouldered Hawk flew in from the same direction and swooped up onto the same branch, sitting very close beside the first one. This hawk sat facing me and sitting erect, showing a beautiful view of its head and face and richly ruddy, red-orange breast.

Both hawks sat there for maybe four or five minutes, the first with its back to me and tail lifted, so that it kind of stretched out in an almost horizontal position. I could see the warm, tawny-orange back of the neck and upper shoulders. The other hawk stayed facing in my direction. It turned its head, looking around, as if assessing the scene. Then it leaned back toward the other hawk, and the two may have touched bills – there were some small branches obscuring my view a little, so I’m not sure.

After another minute or two of just looking around, the hawk facing me spread its wings and flew, gliding low across the yard and into the trees across the street. The first hawk turned around on the branch so then I could see its breast – it was less-deeply colored than the other, but I think was larger, maybe the female.  Very quickly it, too, flew, following the other one this time, into the same area of woods.


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