As I sit at my desk the view directly out the window is of a little forest.
Thus far, no one has moved into the birdhouse in its new location, but this squirrel frequently uses the gabled roof to voice his opinions and feelings. It's his little "blogspot" whether anyone pays any attention to him or not. After his pronouncements and ground inspections, he makes his return trip up the standing tree, scrambling and hugging his way straight up well over 100 feet.
I apologize for the terrible photographic quality...but I had to take these photos through the window or Mr. Squirrel would have abandoned his podium, and cut short his talk to avoid the risk he perceives me to be. There are real risks in his world...and one of them recently came visiting.
This visitor also found the bird house roof a fine place to perch and survey the garden. Once again I had only moments to capture a photo through the window...but I tried. And since then I have been trying to learn more about hawks.
I am familiar with Red- tail hawks when they look like mature male Red-tails...but identifying females and youngsters and at different seasons is not something in which I am well versed. So if you know help me identify this bird. It is about 18" tall and has yellow feet. The pattern on the chest struck me as horizontal bars. Unfortunately I didn't see the tail shape in flight but it appears longer to me than a Red-tail's.
I posted these photos on Facebook and three friends, all native Californians and lovers of birds themselves, gave me three different opinions.
One friend thinks it is a juvenile female Red-tail Hawk, another suggested Swainson's Hawk, while a third said it is a Cooper's Hawk.
The habits of Cooper's Hawks certainly fit this bird showing up above a bird bath in a treed area as they do prey upon smaller birds. The large head, red eyes and longer tail also fit Cooper's Hawk descriptions.
But I am not sure...are You?
Oh, and as I titled this post "Bad Photos of Beautiful Birds... I better share a few more fuzzy shots. My excuse this time is that I was early morning barefoot and such and had let out a cat when I noticed a flock of quail that I thought would rather be stalked by me than the kitty... so I ran out and took photos that aren't a lot blurrier than I was in the moment...and the birds are beautiful.
As promised...a bad photo of a beautiful bird.
Thanks for visiting...I'll come back soon if you will too....and while I enjoy all your comments, it will be really fun if someone can please help me identify the hawk.