Thursday, April 2, 2009

Skywatch Friday: Harris Hawk Sky

Harris Hawk by Kathiesbirds 3-25-09 Vail, AZ

Portrait of a Harris Hawk 3-25-09 by Kathiesbirds


Harris Hawk Landing in Tree 3-25-09


Harris Hawk tail showing white base 3-25-09



Harris hawk, "Don't mess with me!"




Tree in Vail, AZ where the nest is. 3-25-09


Last week my friend, Judy, invited me to her yard in Vail, AZ to see her nesting pair of Harris Hawks. Though she told me they were right over her head, it was still hard to believe until I saw it for myself. The tree the bird's have built their nest in is a mere 15 to 20 feet from her pool in one direction and her house in the other. I stood almost the whole time I was there because I kept seeing so many birds. The Harris Hawks flew over our head numerous times and didn't seem disturbed by our presence at all as evidenced by her husband cleaning the pool right beneath the tree! This is the hawk's first year nesting here. I do not know what kind of tree it has built its nest in. I have never seen this species of tree before. If anyone knows, please feel free to enlighten me and everyone else! I do not think it is native to Arizona. today Judy told me they have seen the baby for the first time, so I suppose another photo trip is warranted. I hope to have baby Harris Hawk photos for everyone very soon. For now, enjoy this Harris Hawk Sky!

Harris Hawk on Utility Pole in Vail, AZ on the street in front of Judy's house.

Click on the link to visit more Skywatch Friday Skys.

(Click on any photo to enlarge for the best view.)

All of today's Photography is by Kathie Brown with the Nikon D80.

Thanks Skywatch team! You are the Best!

40 comments:

Tom said...

aWESOME SHOTS,I love the colour in the first one.

Deborah Godin said...

Wonderful shots of the birds against the sky! These are magnificaent hawks, I wish we had them here.

Louise said...

How exciting to get so close to these birds. I love how they look like a different bird from every angle. Yes, I think the baby warrants another trip!

Quiet Paths said...

I really admire how you get terrific bird shots against the sky. These are super. I'm always wondering what you'll come up with next...

bobbie said...

Beautiful shots, especially against tha sky. I'll be interested to see if you get pictures of the baby.

Dewdrop said...

I have never seen a hawk so up close! Great shots! In that one shot, he looks MAD!

Lynne said...

Good grief Kathie! Was it sitting in your LAP?

Amazing pix of a gorgeous bird.

Denise said...

Hi Kathie, what an amazing opportunity. So nice of your friends to let you know. Great photos and can't wait to see those babies.

Roy said...

In a word Kathie, WOW!

ms426d said...

How nice of the hawks to pose against your lovely sky. Amazing shots.

Vickie said...

Beautiful photos! Terrific that your friend has told you about them. What a fun opportunity to see how they handle suburban living. Look forward to your next report.

Janie said...

What a beautiful bird. I especially like the shot with just blue sky behind the hawk.

Elizabeth Ann said...

Eye-candy for the birder! Harris Hawks have adapted very well to urban living...their downfall is that the wingspan of an adult is wide enough that they can touch two wires on a telephone pole, which is sadly, deadly. Fortunately Tucson Electric Power has an ongoing mission to modify poles when the need arises. If you'd like to read a little more:
http://www.tep.com/Green/Services/RaptorProtection.asp

A Hawk nest in the backyard is awesome! I think you're right, that is not a native tree, but the Hawks adapted to it, which is pretty amazing!

Happy birding...
Elizabeth Ann

P.S. Thank you for visiting my blog (which I have not recently updated, my bad)...when I think back to my years at Pima County, I think I did do some work on impacts that the Sycamore Canyon Subdivision Plan would have on the environment. I'm so glad that you enjoy the desert so much!

fishing guy said...

Kathie: I certainly enjoyed your hawk in the sky especially the one with the wings out while landing.

Photo Cache said...

Oh what lovely captures of birds you have. I especially enjoyed the first and last photos. They are so vivid and clear.

Owlfarmer said...

I love raptors of all kinds, but seldom have a camera handy. You seem to have the knack. Still, I'll only get the occasional red tail or kestrel, and (if I'm lucky, at sunset) maybe a barred owl. But these are superb. Thanks.

Heather said...

Oh my, that's one breathtakingly beautiful bird. The colors are unbelievable! The hawks around here are all kind of drab in color, but this one really stands out. Thanks for sharing!

Your EG Tour Guide said...

What a fabulous opportunity for photographing this hawk family. I've tried numerous times to capture hawks around here with my camera and find them wary of humans. So I am amazed!

Ruth said...

What interesting and beautiful pictures. I have only seen a Harris Hawk at a Raptor demonstration.

Gaelyn said...

What a great opportunity. How cool to have a Harris Hawk nesting in Judy's yard. Absolutely awesome images! Looking forward to more.

RuneE said...

You seem to have a good access to haws - I hardly see anyone. Thank you for sharing - especially the first one!

Michele said...

GEE!! These photos are amazing, I haven't ever the opportunity to see these guys so close up before, I see them around the forests but never can capture them on camera... what amazing photography!

Arija said...

As usual, a great post Kathie. The shot of the landing hawk is brilliant.

itsnotjustapicture said...

what a grat series of shots of the hawk...loved each and every one.
thanks for sharing such awesome shots.
have a great day.

CTG Ponies said...

Fantastic photos!

Mary said...

What a beautiful hawk! Wonderful photos.

BirdingMaine said...

Awesome photos of the Harris Hawk Kathie! I have never seen one in the wild.

My Skywatch Friday: Sunrise Over Plum Island

Martha said...

What beautiful shots, it seems like it is posing for you. I got some shots of condors at pinnacles last week that I will post next week. Not nearly as good as yours but they were thrilling to see.

Tammie Lee said...

Oh you have some amazing photos here! Such a magnificent creature! The colors in the first image wow me. The portrait in the second is stunning too! I wonder what that tree is, you have me curious.

Sue said...

Wow, I just got back from seeing your posts on the page, and was in awe of your beautiful photos and the access you have to all those birds!

Thanks for your comment on my SkyWatch post.

Oz Girl said...

Wow, you snapped some incredible shots of these Harris Hawks. I love the very first one, just beautiful. :)

Doug Taron said...

Amazing. My favorite is the 'don't mess with me' shot. I posted the recipe that you asked for over on my blog.

onangelwings said...

THose are such great shots. My kids love looking at pictures of animals. I will be showing them tomorrow when they wake up.

Susan Gets Native said...

Oh, my.
Those colors just make me all squishy.

Dee said...

Yes- definitely make another trip! I love Hawks and see so few close up other than in your pictures!

Abe Lincoln said...

Beautiful birds and photos.

I looked at the hawk on a telephone pole and think to myself that the hawk is thinking to himself that "this was not the best place to build a nest."

Celeste said...

Spectacular photos again Kathie, I look forward to more updates on the progress of the hawk family - how fantastic to have this opportunity to observe them, you must be thrilled.

Larry said...

Amazing! I got to see a Harris Hawk during a falconry demonstration but there's nothing like seeing them out in a natural setting. Great photos!

mimi said...

Hi and thank you so much for the awesome photos! The tree the hawks are nesting in is a Silk Oak, I believe. Does is have a really cool kind of blossom in spring? It's yellow and consists of curly little tendrils -- very showy and mostly at the tips or very top of the tree. It's native to Australia and is quite lovely. Your birds have good taste!

Kathiesbirds said...

Mimi, thank you for the information on the silk oak tree! I have never heard of this type of tree before. I am not able to observe it on a regular basis but I think you may be right! Once again, thank you!