Saturday, March 31, 2012

Gray Hawks

Over the next several weeks, I'll be presenting an exciting Birds Of Prey series from Southern Arizona.  I think I have some really exciting shots to present to you all.  One in particular is my ABSOLUTE favorite, but I won't spoil the fun.  Just get ready for it in a couple days.  The purpose of this series is to give you a little background on some of the Hawks, Owls, Falcons, and Ravens that we see around our neighborhoods.  Some are quite common while others are listed as endangered.  As we warm up here, we'll be seeing several of the birds returning to the Tucson area.  Our first feature today is the Gray Hawk.  Not a very creative name for a spectacular bird.  While doing the photo shoot, I was impressed with the grace and beauty that this hawk displays.
These birds are listed as Least Concern and can be found throughout the Riparian areas of Southern Arizona like the San Pedro River. You may find a nest in areas such as the Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge. 
However, I'm going to rate this hawk in the moderate category to spot because it's found on the outside of the metropolitan area of Tucson.  It is more common to see a Red Tailed, Harris or Cooper's Hawk in town.   You'll find these birds on the outskirts.  As this month warms up, keep your eyes up for these migrating birds:)

Environment

open country and forest edges

Food
feeds on lizards and snakes, also eats some small mammals, birds and frogs

Breeding
the nest is made of sticks and built high in a tree. Lays one to three white to pale blue eggs

Range
breeds in Southwestern United States, Mexico, Central American, and South America to central Argentina
Stay tuned for more on this series.  These posts were photographed at the 10 AM Raptor Free Flight at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum.  The purpose?  To educate myself on raptors and learn their behavioral moments for photography shoots in the wild.  So far this year, I've experience a Red Tailed Hawk and 2 Cooper's Hawks in my garden.  I hope you enjoy the living desert shots and hikes that will be featured in April along with more garden updates. I'll be leaving for Mexico this Easter and hope to get some wonderful Pelican shots on the ocean.  Until then, stay tuned for more tomorrow.....

21 comments:

  1. Once more you managed to take fantastic photos, i love to see these birds fyling as they look effortless while they are hunting! Great post, thanks!

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  2. Brilliant raptor pictures Chris.

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  3. Wow, awesome shots of the Hawks. The last shot is amazing. Well done! Have a great weekend!

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  4. (I'm back in touch, problems sorted ;~)

    That last portrait is spectacular awesome amazing - all those !!! words.

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    1. That's great news! I've heard of problems like this before with other bloggers and I looked around my blog to make sure that others didn't have the blinkie stuff, etc. I don't like that malware/virus junk hidden on sites, but it happens. I use Norton and it does a good job catching all of that garbage:) I am still in awe of your leopard excitement the other night. I would have been stunned and shocked with my camera. My first Jaguar in the wild, I almost quietly fell out of my boat into the river.....that's how shaky I was. It's the most incredible thing to see in person. No zoos, museums, internet......just me and the jaguar. That was a lot of fun to read. Have a good rest of the weekend. I think it's night right now in your part of the world:)

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  5. Stunning photos, Chris and absolutely fascinating to read about the birds of prey in Southern Arizona.

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  6. Wonderful shots. The last one is so compelling! Have a wonderful trip! Look forward to the rest in this series.

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  7. Never seen this bird.....great shots Chris.

    Greetings, Joop

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  8. Great series of beautiful photos!
    Love to read and see your photos of this beautiful hawk.
    Have a great time in Mexico.
    Mette

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  9. Wow, amazing captures of a bird in flight! Well done!

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  10. Hi Chris, Great photos and a good taster for future posts.

    I really came to comment on your previous post having seen it late last night. What really superb photos of the Great Horned Owl, my first thought was simply WOW! Such a magnificent bird and you captured it so well. I rarely manage to see Owls here let alone photograph them.

    Hope you are having a lovely weekend.

    Oh I nearly forgot, happily, no problems with your blog :-)

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  11. you know, i don't know if i've ever heard of a gray hawk. he is beautiful! the feather patterns in your first couple of photos look like hammered metal. :)

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  12. Very nice series!
    Beautiful shots!
    Have a nice weekend
    Yvonne & Raphael

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  13. Beautiful shots and a great education as well. That's what I love about blogging. What a fun way to educate yourself for future "wild" outings.

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  14. Great Photo's Chris,
    It's a very exciting time now as we await the arrival of the spring migrants :-)

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  15. Love that last shot - superb. A bird with attitude.

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  16. Beautiful pictures. I saw the raptor show when I was in Tuscon a couple of years ago, it was a great opportunity to see these beautiful birds close up and in flight. Your pictures are much better than the ones I got though, thanks for sharing.

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  17. I've never seen a gray hawk. All the raptures are magnificent. I look forward to more of your awesome photos.

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  18. Fantastic! I went to the raptor thing at the museum last year. It was so fun and amazing to watch. You've got me all worked up now I wonder if a cold shower fixes that kind of thing? :-)

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  19. Hi Chris, We have mostly Cooper's and Red Tails around here. I've never seen a Gray Hawk before. What a beautiful bird --even if he does enjoy my Mourning Doves for lunch... Oh Well!!!! Nature at work...

    Thanks for sharing.. Your photos are awesome.
    Betsy

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  20. beautiful hawk!! i've never seen a Gray Hawk...in person...in the wild!!
    wonderful shots...especially that last one...the perfect close-up!!

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