Edgewood's Red-Shouldered Hawks, Spring 2000

Early in April 2000, in California's Edgewood County Park , I saw this Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus elegans) carry a stick into a eucalyptus tree. For the next month, I watched this hawk (and her mate) build the nest and brood eggs.

Red-shouldered hawks, large forest-dwelling buteos, are less common than red-tailed hawks in North America. Obviously, they are strikingly beautiful birds. I'd noticed red-shouldered hawks in Edgewood Park for several years, but only the wildest stroke of luck allowed me to find the nest. Fortunately, I'd just obtained a digital camera.

Checking periodically for several weeks, I saw very little apparent activity. However, on May 10, I noticed new motion in the nest. I first got a spotting scope onto the family on May 12. The photos in these pages were shot through the scope at 32x, at a range of approximately 30 meters. (Yes, that is blood on the feet and beak!)

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