Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Juveniles on a Rampage?

Juvenile Red Tailed Hawks, Buteo jamaicensis, just recently fledged. Philip Unitt, Curator, Department of Birds and Mammals at the San Diego Natural History Museum, was kind enough to ID these two for me. They appeared to be variants of a red tailed hawk, to my novice eye, as the coloration didn't quite match the coloration of adult red-tailed hawk. Fledglings never even occurred to me as these are rather large birds (although it is that time of year...). Pretty doggone cool! There must have been a good nesting year, with the wet Winter we had, as there are four of these guys patrolling the canyon in back of the house. Imagine if you were a trying to keep four of these huge birds fed.

Red tailed hawks are found from Canada clear down through Panama. The can reach about 3.5 pounds and about 26" in wingspan! These were being pestered by two mockingbirds but that is for another day...

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