August at the Chicago Portage, Act II, Scene I: Juvenile Red-Tailed Hawk Musings

Juvenile Red-Tailed Hawk, Chicago Portage

Juvenile Red-Tailed Hawk, Chicago Portage

I could spend a couple hours trying to figure out the identity of two beetles, but for the moment I am going to share a few photos of the juvenile Red-Tailed Hawk that was hanging out at the Portage last weekend. With any luck, I will stop by tomorrow morning to check on him or her and continue to look for Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds in the Jewel Weed.

White-Tailed Deer, Chicago Portage

White-Tailed Deer, Chicago Portage

Actually I did get a brief view of one Ruby-Throated Hummingbird on Sunday morning, not long after I startled some deer. As I approached the first bridge over the muck, the Ruby-Throat exploded into the air along with a House Wren who proudly posed with his prize, and it is likely the hummer was trying for the same thing. But the hummer kept going and was not available for the photographic record.

House Wren, Chicago Portage

House Wren, Chicago Portage

HOWR Portage-8-17-2014-3145After that I encountered the juvenile Red-Tailed Hawk and spent a long time with it watching it watching me and looking for possible prey. It was not successful in the prey department, at least while I was observing it. But it occurred to me later that my days of watching this hawk will soon be over if they aren’t already. When he or she gets better at hunting I won’t be encountering this bird so often on my level. So let’s enjoy the field marks while we can!

My first encounter with the hawk on this perch

My first encounter with the hawk on this perch

Juv RTHA Portage-8-17-2014-3238

Spotting something in the grass….

Juv RTHA Portage-8-17-2014-3279

Coming up empty…

Juv RTHA Portage-8-17-2014-3282Juv RTHA Portage-8-17-2014-3295Juv RTHA Portage-8-17-2014-3236

The light was awful on Sunday so I didn’t get much in the way of pictures unless I was right on top of something. A second segment will follow, with more birds and those dang beetles whether I can identify them or not. Maybe I should give up on the insects and stick to birds (I already have scores if not a hundred or more bird books for identification) before I spend any more money on insect books for identification. But for now I am still trying to make good on my investment. For those more curious about butterflies and dragonflies I have tried to identify in previous posts, I made revisions to the IDs thanks to my ever watchful friend Linda P. Thank you, Linda!

Juv RTHA Portage-8-17-2014-3223

Not a songbird but worthy of a song. Hmmm. That gives me an idea… 🙂

12 thoughts on “August at the Chicago Portage, Act II, Scene I: Juvenile Red-Tailed Hawk Musings

  1. Those captures of the juvenile Red-tailed Hawk are fabulous! The first photo is one of the best RTH’s I’ve seen! All of them nice! Good work Lisa! 🙂

    • Thanks, HJ! I just got lucky. I think I’d be luckier still if I made a point of visiting the Portage every single weekend (since I can’t manage it every day) because I think the birds tend to get used to you after a while and they’re less camera shy. Whatever. It was just fun to hang out with this bird for a while. 🙂

    • I’m blushing! Stop it! Flattery will get you everywhere, as my mother used to say. But she also used to say be careful or I’ll step on your foot, so I don’t know what kind of mixed message that is. Believe me it was hard to choose from the photos because the hawk really made me feel like we were on a fashion shoot. Maybe if I can figure out what I’m doing I’ll add a few more to my flickr page which I’ve been neglecting. Thanks! 🙂

  2. Fantastic pictures! It’s a juvenile but there’s nothing fresh out of the nest cute about this bird… those talons and eyes mean business. Good luck hunting to your buddy, and good luck on the beetles. I couldn’t even figure out a bumblebee the other day!

    • Thanks, Frank! I can only hope this bird is evidence that there are still Red-Tails nesting in the area, I never found the nest this year. As for bumblebees, I haven’t found anywhere yet that categorizes them(!). But then there are all these different types of ladybugs,,,

    • Thanks so much! It was pure luck, and come to think of it, it never could have happened anywhere else. I hope this bird sticks around for a while but I know I won’t get to see it like this again.

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