Dean M. Chriss
Red Shouldered Hawk, Juvenile, Wing Stretch
(Click image to enlarge)
I found this red-shouldered hawk perched on a low branch protruding from a dense
mangrove forest. I had already photographed it when it decided to stretch its
wings. It remained in this position for quite a while before flying to a more
open area. Red-shouldered hawks typically live and hunt in forests, but they
prefer forested areas with an an open sub-canopy, not extremely dense forests
like this one.
Like most hawks they are very skittish if approached too closely. Their appearance varies throughout their range. For instance, western
birds are generally more red and Florida birds are generally more pale.
Juveniles are more brown above with a less reddish tone on their shoulders.