Two Juvenile Red-shouldered Hawks

Early this morning, two juvenile Red-shouldered Hawks were hunting in the grass near a thicket in a neighbor’s yard. The area was shaded by several pecan trees, and the air still felt cool. I almost walked by without seeing them because they were on the ground, and because they were quiet and alone – no smaller birds around were sounding an alarm.

They seemed to be catching something in the grass, maybe grasshoppers or cicadas or other insects. Several times as I watched, one or the other flew up into some low branches in the thicket and disappeared there, then came out again and dropped to the grass. Both had dark brown throats and pale breasts with dark brown streaks. Once or twice they made what looked like playful flights at each other, spreading their wings – mottled brown on top, but very pale underneath – and flaring tails with narrow bands in shades of brown.

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