A Red-shouldered Hawk through the camera lens of Dane Adams. Dane captured this immature Red-shouldered with some amazing frames, which will allow us to study the youngster. First off, the posture threw my ID off a bit. When we arrived on the scene, I assumed this bird perched tip-top of a tree like a Christmas tree ornament was going to be a Rough-legged Hawk. But the size seemed a bit small.
It took a couple of looks, and some general prompting from Tom Bartlett, to realise this was an immature bird with a streaked chest and a general lack of rufous highlight on the shoulders. But that will all change with age, and he will soon take on the more familiar coloring of an adult Red-Shoulder.
And when Red-shoulders fly, look for the white crescents of "windows" on the bases of the primaries (toward the wing-tips.) Dane's excellent photo captures this feature mid-flight.
Fully extended, a hunting machine becomes airborne. We see birds in flight everyday, but something about these freeze-frames portrays the combination of the physics and beauty of a bird aloft.
Breath-taking! Thanks to Dane Adams for sharing these great photos.