Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Zone-tailed Hawks!

(Buteo albonotatus) Impressive and intimidating birds, I think. In the US, If you're lucky, you can find these guys in various parts of Arizona and New Mexico, and in Southern and West Texas. If you're not really sure what you're looking at, you might mistake these guys for a Turkey Vulture at first glance. They've got similar flight styles.  So if you're in their range, you should do some double takes, because Z-taileds are pretty sweet.  Look for the white(ish) bands under the tail when in flight.  They've also got some gnarly and telling vocalizations that can be sort of ear-piercing. (Above: Adult Zone-tailed has something to say. Below: This young one had left the nest and was walking around the tree...Female on nest early in the season before the eggs had hatched)
So anyway, this season I knew where two active nests were and had the chance to check on them a couple times. (Very cool). Neither were in great locations for great photos (some of these photos aren't that full of quality, but cool subjects!), but I was still able to get some good looks at them. And one of the adults would perch close enough for some nice shots. One of the nests was only about 60-70 meters from a raven nest, so you can imagine how noisy it was in that area. Next year they'll likely be at the same place (nice), since they reuse old nest sites and both were successful this season.  (Below: snagged a photo right before take off)
They usually have two eggs, and a lot of times only one will survive (you know how raptors are...bigger nestlings often kill the weaker ones) but I was really happy that both nestlings from both nests fledged! Good news! (Top to bottom: both nestlings fledged! This is the nest near the raven nest...from the other nest - not sure if this guy had actually fledged or was just walking around in the tree. New fledgies will come back to the nest for food and hang around the nest for a week or so after fledging. Look at his monster feet! The middle guy's sibling was still hanging out in the nest. The world is a scary place. )  Wild Bird Wednsday

20 comments:

Gary said...

Great series Jill. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Elizabeth said...

Wonderful pictures! I saw a Zone-tailed Hawk in Patagonia, AZ a few years ago but my pics are merely sufficient to confirm that it wasn't a vulture because of the white stripe on the tail.

Andrew said...

A lovely bird I had never heard of before... many thanks for sharing.

Pam and Wayne said...

The faces on those fledgies are adorable! The adult is a looker, too, much prettier than a turkey vulture.

HansHB said...

Awesome photos! A perfect post for WBW!
Have a great evening!

Antonio Puig Garcias said...

Great capture.

biobabbler said...

Wow, what a treat.

And "the world is a scary place" combined with the look in that young little raptor's face/body (however badass his/her feet) made my heart melt. You can do it! =)

NICE, nice, uncommon shots. THANKS!

Adam Jones said...

Great shots of the hawk. Lovely to see.

Findlay Wilde said...

How big are these birds please?

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Don't ya just wish they would place those nests in just a little bit more accessible places, aah but they know exactly what they are doing. I had never heard of, or seen this species before. Awesome looking birds~

Neil said...

Interesting post.

mick said...

Very interesting birds and great to get photos of them.

Stewart M said...

Great set of pictures - being able to watch a bird of prey family at the nest is a real treat.

Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

PS: feel free to link back to WBW - and there is a bade in the WBW tab if you want one!

Anni said...

Wow...all I can say is that these photos are incredible. I especially appreciated seeing the tail markings which is always a great ID mark.

I have TWO pages of birds...

One, my Sunday Meme Linking post at The Bird D'Pot [birds: some black bellied Whistling Ducks and more]

Two, my personal blog with photos of Brown Pelicans at sea.

Do stop by for a visit if you can find time. I'd love your company.

Pat said...

Beautiful birds! How fortunate to have a nest nearby.

TheChieftess said...

Very impressive captures!!!

i stora drag said...

Great photos of this interesting birdin its nest!
Greetings Pia in Sweden

i stora drag said...

Great photos of this interesting bird in its nest!
Greetings Pia in Sweden

Janie said...

Great photos of the nest, fledglings and adults. Interesting to learn something about these raptors.

Esther Garvi, Niger said...

Beautiful creatures!!