Up at Mom and Dad's house again recently, and I spotted somebody down on the old tree in the next pasture behind their place. You've seen this tree plenty of times before, with kestrels, bluejays, woodpeckers and other flying critters on it, but this time proved to be somebody I'd rarely seen out there, a red tailed hawk. These guys aren't nearly so common as the red shouldered ones I see around all the time. They're also quite a bit larger, which may explain why they are rarer.
As I was walking out to get closer to the hawk I could see on the old dead tree, something big made a noise in a live pine tree on my right. Turns out it was a second red tail, probably the mate of the first one. This second one took off and flew around in front of me, so I was able to squeeze off a couple of good shots. Had I known I was that close to a second one, I would have gotten some much better shots, I assure you. Next time I'll know to look there!
The first hawk just watched all the commotion calmly, not seeming to care very much.
Eventually I got too close and he took off. But he was nice enough to circle around a few times and let me get some pictures. I wish he'd been a little closer, but these aren't too bad.
I had forgotten that I'd seen a red shoulder near this tree one time before, but I only caught a fleeting and blurry glimpse of him that one time. Perhaps they've taken up a more permanent residence in the area now.