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Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk

Posted on Sep 9, 2016

This juvenile Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) is a very intriguing bird. These photos are as close as they appear, and it paid zero attention or regard to anyone or anything going on around it.

Red-tailed Hawk juvenile-3278

The hawk enjoys sitting on wires and poles, occasionally glancing at someone if they are very loud or very close in a more curious than scared way.

Red-tailed Hawk juvenile-3250

It seems likely that this goes beyond a case of being “young and dumb” which happens often enough in raptors with juvenile birds being too bold, too trusting, or too confident. This is probably a bird who grew up in an urban environment around people and does not have the same fear others do. I have heard from more experienced birders and photographers that Red-tails have become more tame over the last few decades in general. The species might simply be adapting to better live around humans, with those able to cope with us surviving and prospering all the more. This bird has been seen feeding on rodents as it should be, thankfully, so we can hope it will have a long and successful life with its experiences making it more adept at avoiding the environmental dangers created by humans.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator