Readers’ wildlife photos

April 9, 2023 • 8:15 am

Today is Sunday, and so we have a batch of themed bird photos from John Avise. His narrative and captions are indented, and you can enlarge his photos by clicking on them.

Hawks Overhead

Many hawks spend much of their time soaring around, looking for prey below.  This means that birders routinely have views of hawks flying overhead, against a sky backdrop.  Expert birders (and I’m not really one of them) can recognize each species by noting details such as the size and shape of the wings and tail, the flying motion, and various plumage characteristics.  But this can be tricky because the plumages of most hawks vary with age, and some hawks even come in different plumage-color phases.  This week’s photographs show several hawk species captured in overhead flight.  I took all of these photos here in Southern California, which often means a blue-sky backdrop.

Red-tailed Hawk adult, Buteo jamaicensis:

Red-tailed Hawk juvenile:

Swainson’s Hawk, light plumage phase, Buteo swainsoni:

Swainson’s Hawk, dark plumage phase:

Swainson’s Hawk, light and dark phases flying together:

Red-shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus:

Another Red-shouldered Hawk:

Ferriginous hawk, Buteo regalis:

Another Ferruginous Hawk:

American Kestrel, Falco sparverius:

Northern Harrier, Circus hudsonius:

White-tailed Kite, Elanus leucurus:

Another White-tailed Kite:

Cooper’s Hawk, Accipiter cooperi:

Osprey, Pandion haliaetus:

8 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Looks like you caught two or three of these species windhovering. The Kestrel looks like he might be giving you the once-over….

  2. All in flight. How does one do that? I found photographing flying birds pretty difficult. Kudos to you!

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