Chuck and Patrice Spinner, Pioneer Electric Cooperative
Q. Hi, Chip: I was working in our yard in early September doing some trimming when I was startled to see this hawk on the ground about forty feet in front of me. I continued working, thinking that surely it would fly away when I got closer. Surprisingly, it didn’t! I got to within ten feet, close enough to get a nice picture of this beautiful bird.
Don’t know if it was a fledgling, as it sure looked old enough to my wife and me to be able to fly. It also didn’t appear to be injured. If it was a fledgling, I would have thought its mother would be squawking as I neared her offspring. Hope you have some ideas as to why this hawk was so approachable. I sure hope the bird launched safely and is now providing a beautiful view in the sky for other birders to see. Also, let me take this opportunity to say that my wife and I enjoy all of your articles!
A. Thanks for your question and kind words, Chuck. I’ve been writing and photographing my monthly Woods, Waters & Wildlife outdoors column in Ohio Cooperative Living for nearly 20 years, and still enjoy every minute of it!
As for the hawk photo you sent, pictured is an immature red-tailed hawk, one of the Buckeye State’s most common birds of prey. My guess, like yours, is that the unusual behavior you describe is because the bird fledged recently from the nest and was on its own, trying to figure out life — how to fly, hunt, etc. If you’d like to read more about redtails in general, here is a link to the red-tailed hawk Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-tailed_hawk.