Shortly after moving to Stallion Springs, I discovered a red-tailed hawk nest with fledglings in it. I’ve kept tabs on them ever since. I’ve only seen the parents and a single juvenile for a while, so I’m guessing the second chick didn’t survive. Even though the surviving youngster is fully-fledged and flying, his parents are still incredibly protective of him, sending up alarm calls and circling. This morning I managed to surprise them down near the creek. The juvenile and mother watched me warily from different trees, giving me the perfect opportunity to get some unusually close up shots.
Red-tailed hawks are one of the most common raptors in North America; they’re opportunists which makes them highly adaptable. Favored prey here in Stallion Springs would certainly be rock squirrels of which there are multitudes in the Tehachapi Mountains. Life is good for these feathered predators.
All too soon, my quiet moment with mother and juvenile came to end with mother airborne and loudly protesting my intrusion. The young hawk lingered for a moment before heeding its parent’s warnings and taking to wing too. I’m looking forward to seeing it mature to the beautiful and deadly adult it’s destined to be.