I have taken lots of hawk photos since moving to Florida. Mostly because they seem to be out on the lake daily, sitting on the water monitoring posts, lording over their domain. Sometimes they swoop out of the trees, and occasionally they man the utility wires over the streets. I’ve always thought of them as the top of the pecking order on the lake.
Yesterday I saw this red shouldered hawk sitting down at the edge of the lake so I grabbed my camera and went out. I clicked a few photos, then moved closer and clicked a few more. Instead of flying away he moved on the ground and looked awkward doing it. I moved to take more photos and he started to take off, but landed in a heap. Now I was worried that he was hurt and backed off so I didn’t distress him any more than he already was. I always believe in a happy ending, so I choose to believe that the hawk I saw take off and fly a little while later was this same one.
While I am still very impressed with the hawks over all, I have to add that I saw a 4 month old Sandhill crane roust one of it’s hiding spot out on the lake one day. I was so surprised to see it happen. So maybe it’s the Sandhill cranes who are king of the hill, but it’s the hawks who have mastered the regal stare.