I was eating lunch when a winged visitor swooped by the living room window, landing in the mimosa tree adjacent to our backyard patio. I ran into my office to grab my point-and-click camera, sure that he'd be gone before I could find and focus it on his position in the tree. Much to my surprise, he didn't immediately fly off as the bigger birds here usually do. I couldn't get a very good shot through the window glass so I risked opening up the screen door and sneaking outside. I got off a few shots before he moved to the neighbor's pine tree on the slope below.
The pine tree was too far away for me to get any more photos of value. I stood at the edge of our backyard hedge for a good 15 to 20 minutes in the hope that maybe I could get a photo of his magnificent wingspan when he flew off but he just sat in the pine staring off into the distance until I finally gave up. Then, of course, he flew away.
I'm no expert on wild birds but my guess is that he was a juvenile red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis). I understand that the birds tend to choose one perch to hunt from so perhaps he'll be back. The squirrels were no where to be seen while he was present but the hummingbirds appeared to have no fear of him. My photos of his piercing countenance are my contribution to Anna's Wednesday vignette meme at Flutter & Hum.
All material © 2012-2015 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party