Red Shouldered Hawk & Black Vulture
Where I live in south Lincolnshire we are fortunate to see range of birds of prey - from Kestrels and Buzzards, Tawny Owls and Barn Owls, to the glorious Red Kite. But although we see these birds quite frequently, they rarely come within photographable range, and if they do, I don't have my camera with me.
This is not the case in Florida. There are a range of birds to be seen and they seem more accustomed to humans than the birds in the UK. This post includes images of two species, the Red Shouldered Hawk and the Black Vulture.
The Red Shouldered Hawk is a medium-sized hawk, with broad, rounded wings and medium-length tails that they fan out when soaring. In flight, they often glide or soar with their wingtips pushed slightly forward, with a distinctive, “reaching” posture. Adults are colorful hawks with dark-and-white checkered wings and warm reddish barring on the breast. The tail is black with narrow white bands. Immatures are brown above and white below streaked with brown. All ages show narrow, pale crescents near the wingtips in flight.
Red-shouldered Hawks soar over forests or perch on tree branches or utility wires. This particular bird, flew directly over our rental house in Kissimmee as we were getting in the car - against the light but thankfully I managed to grab a couple of images.
We saw two species of Vulture in Florida, the Turkey Vulture and the Black Vulture. Turkey Vultures could be soaring high on the thermals above many of the themes parks - but they were always far to far way for photography. The smaller, Black Vulture, on the other hand, was a lot more confiding, allowing quite a close approach in places like Gatorland and Disney's Animal Kingdom. The following images are all from Gatorland.
For more Red Shouldered Hawk images please go to the gallery here.
For more Black Vulture images please go to the gallery here.