I heard the crows fussing outside. When I peeked through the kitchen window I could understand why. There was not just one, but two Red-tailed Hawks perched side by side on a limb in the backyard.
Interestingly, the squirrels were busy feeding and paid no mind whatsoever to the two big fellows that could have easily eaten them for lunch.
The crows squawked and carried on, but kept a safe distance from the golden brown predators. To keep peace and quiet in the yard, I went outside, clapped my hands and the two hawks sailed away.
Numerous times I have seen hawks in the yard, but never a pair.
I assume they were mates, but it could have been an adult and a juvenile. They wouldn’t tell me before they flew away.
Red-tailed Hawks are large birds with a wing-span of up to 4-feet. They are fairly common in Virginia, often seen perched on a tree or pole beside highways. You can also see them soaring in wide circles high over a field. Like all raptors, they have keen vision and can dive rapidly when prey is located.
One of the favored foods of a Red-tailed Hawk is a nice, juicy snake. They also eat a variety of birds, insects, mice and smaller mammals.
Colorations on these beautiful birds vary from a chocolate brown to an almost whitish color. The most common colors are golden brown tones, the colors of the hawks in my yard.
Red-tailed Hawks build nests on platforms, sometimes buildings, with both the male and female participating in the nest construction and care of the fledglings. They typically lay 2 to 3 eggs with an incubation period of 30 to 35 days then another 45 days of so till the young birds are able to fly.
They are certainly beautiful birds, but I hope they find a backyard to their better liking.