What Kind of Bird is This?

Last January 13th, 2010, I posted this tablescape below, and in the midst of taking pics…

Something large came to call in the trees out back. I took a quick pic through the glass of the bay window, but before I could get a better photo, he was gone.

I was pretty sure he/she was hawk, but had no idea what kind. A couple of readers said he looked like a Red-tailed Hawk, also known as a Chicken Hawk. Here’s a pic of a Red-tailed Hawk from Wikipedia:

Well, guess what?! He (or someone like him) came back today and I ran through the house like a crazy woman to get my camera. I don’t have a zoom lens so this was the best I could do standing with my camera and head stuck outside the screen door of the porch. I was afraid to go onto the deck, lest he fly off. He was keeping a close watch on the ground under the two feeders that hang from the deck. I guess he doesn’t care for squirrel because he was ignoring one that was munching on seed under the feeder. (CLICK ON THE PIC AND IT WILL ENLARGE.)

So, what kind of hawk is this guy? Is he the same one/kind that came calling before? Do you still think he’s a Red-tailed Hawk? Here’s a list of the hawks that are prevalent in the state of Georgia, per answer.com:

•Red-tailed Hawks,
•Red Shouldered Hawks,
•Cooper’s Hawks,
•Sharp-shinned Hawks,
•Broad Wing Hawks,
•Marsh Hawks (in winter)

I am just so in awe of these birds…totally in awe. Isn’t it interesting that I always see hawks in my backyard in January. Maybe they are in my backyard all year but the leaves hide them from my view. Or, perhaps food is more scarce right now so he has to be bolder and come closer to homes than he’d like.

Can’t wait to hear what you think he is! 🙂

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  1. Looks like a fat red-tail to me but until he takes off you can't really see the red in the tail.

  2. Yup, that's a red-tailed hawk I do believe. We get them around here all the time. And Cooper Hawks. They treat the bird feeders like a buffet, unfortunately. But they have to eat, too.

  3. Looks like a red tailed to me…we have hawks and eagles all around our home…lovely picture!

  4. Nice shot. I saw two in our yard last week. One was dead and the other was just standing there beside it. Made me kinda sad because most birds mate for life.

  5. Kim @ Savvy Southern Style says

    Susan, I have a bird book to grab and use for the eastern region. We get hawks all the time here especially around our pond. I think it is an immature red shouldered hawk. The red tailed hawk would have a white tail hanging down below the branch and it looks dark to me like a red shouldered. I say it is immature because an adult will be red all the way down the front, but they are white and spotted like that when they are young. Don't let you cats out.

  6. Graceful Moments says

    I think he is a red tail but it's hard to tell. He could be an immature red shouldered. Here's a link with some photos of one of the young red shouldered hawks visiting my house last year:

    I can tell by their call. Sort of a Keer Keer is the call of the red shouldered. Don't know about the red tail. Here is a link to the hawk sounds from Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It's a great website for all things ornithological:

    Great photos of your hawk!

  7. Simple Southern Happiness says

    Oh mercy, what a lovely place setting you have there. I often wanted to ask how you control the pollen in the spring? You must stay busy dusting the porch.

    Looks like the same kind of hawk that has been here lurking on the porch roof. My parrots are haning on their perch in front of the window and they seem to call attention to hawks. I hear my parrot scream, I manage to get my focus clear from the fright of them screaming to look out the window. Just 8' away is this hawk perched right on top of the roof. I try to get a photo but he/she is camera shy. He/she sure wants my birds, my male parrot is so colorful.

    Talk about the awesome vision hawks have to see my birds through the window.

  8. Honestly, Susan, I wouldn't know what kind of hawk he is but he sure is a beauty. Majestic looking. Susan

  9. martinealison says

    Moi je ne dirai rien! Je reste admirative devant cet oiseau… Il se peut toutefois, que le froid étant, il ait faim et ne trouve plus forcément beaucoup de nourriture dans la campagne, alors il se rapproche des habitations.
    Magnifiques photos… Bisous

  10. Designs on 47th Street says

    Looks like you have your answer Susan. I too am fasinated with large birds. We have woods behind us. Last winter we saw a huge owl on a very cold, snowy day. He would perch in a tree, then fly away for awhile and then back to the very same spot. so fun to watch.


  11. Brenda Kula says

    I posted this very thing a few weeks ago. Because I had a young hawk hanging around in my front yard. Turned out to be a chicken hawk. It had a yellow marking on its neck. I can't see closely enough to check yours. Probably what the others have said it is. I'd keep small pets away from it. A hawk got my cat Bonnie last summer.

  12. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Brenda, so sorry that happened! 🙁 Max is 15lbs so I don't think a hawk could carry him off, but he stays inside all the time. We have a real problem with Coyotes in this area and their favorite food is cat!

  13. Lou Cinda @ Tattered Hydrangeas says

    He is HUGE and gorgeous!! Keep small pets indoors when he is out "hunting"….

    Lou Cinda

  14. Carol in Indian Springs Village says

    Susan, we have those too in Alabama. I was looking out my dining room window one morning watching the chipmunks in the front yard and Wham! a hawk came flying down, scooped one up and was gone in an instant. It sure was an amazing thing to see! We keep our baby kitty inside all the time anyway as we have coyote in the area as well. My kitten is all teeth and legs right now but he would be a good bite for a coyote or a hawk.

  15. I love birds, and this one is a doosey! I am guessing a red tail hawk, too. We have them in Missouri. I love their wing span!

  16. I love birds, and this one is a doosey! I am guessing a red tail hawk, too. We have them in Missouri. I love their wing span!

  17. No guesses, but it looks like others have given you the information you were seeking.

    He is a beauty-but kind of scary too!

    from Virginia

  18. I have been looking at the pictures in National Geographic's Field Guide to the Birds of North America. It looks like either a red shouldered hawk or red tailed hawk to me. Wish I could see more of the tail. The white spots on the wings make me lean toward the red shouldered….

  19. Designs By Pinky says

    I guess it is a red shouldered. Whatever he/she is beautiful! We also get them all the time here. We live in the woods so they are all over. I have pictures of one in our front yard and ON THE DRIVEWAY on my blog. One of my first posts. XO, Pinky PS, loved that tablescape last year!!!!!

  20. The Quintessential Magpie says

    Susan, I'm not sure, but he certainly is gorgeous. I'm with everyone else saying to keep Max inside. A hawk would surprise you with what they can pick up, and their talons are very, very strong when they are that size.

    Hope all is well there. Did you make your appointment yet? Your surrogate sister wants to know!


    Sheila 🙂

  21. I really don't know what kind of hawk it is….but I think he is beautiful!!! Ciao Flavia

  22. He is a cutie no matter what he is.

  23. Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal says

    When we lived in Marietta we'd have them all of the time. In fact they became the mascot of the new high school down the street. I loved watching them. I actually almost hit one driving down the road when he flew by very low!

  24. The Old Cupboard Door says

    He/she is a beautiful bird. We have hawks in our area too. Everytime one starts shrieking, the squirrels start running.


  25. Missouri Gal Nicole says

    Looks like a fat red tail to me.

  26. Hi Susan,
    I have no idea but anyway, he/she is pretty impressive. And your table, too.
    Greetings, Johanna

  27. Sue (Someone's Mom) says

    He is very regal! I have no idea about birds, but I'd be excited if he visited me!

  28. Red Tail! What a handsome bird huh!?

  29. I'm your newest follower. http://moogieland.blogspot.com/

  30. If you feed the birds by your deck he could be waiting to swoop in on one of them. Or a bunny feeding on the food on the ground. I have that happen with the sparrow hawks.
    Keep an eye on him. 8>)

  31. If you feed the birds by your deck he could be waiting to swoop in on one of them. Or a bunny feeding on the food on the ground. I have that happen with the sparrow hawks.
    Keep an eye on him. 8>)

  32. Hi 🙂 I'm not sure where you live in GA, but I live in Griffin, and we have one of those that hangs out in our neighborhood, and he eats our backyard birds and will leave a pile of feathers wherever he decides to have dinner that day. My parents live next door, and he sits on top of my mother's bird feeder house waiting on birds to show up. Those things are mean! And no matter how hard you try to run them off, they won't budge! We see them out in the country when we drive to church, but we live in a residential neighborhood close to town, and they still hang out here.

  33. We saw a hawk at Linderhof today as well — they're after the birds at your feeders. Although they are beautiful birds, they are not NICE birds!!!

  34. Well, I had a hawk encounter just this past Saturday. Mine was huge too & I'm not sure if he was a red tail or Cooper's hawk. Check out my blog for a story about him. We couldn't tell what kind of bird he killed, but hubby said it had to be a big one also. I watched part of the massacre & it about did me in! I know we must let Mother Nature do her thing…but he was wicked!

  35. tales from an oc cottage says

    I do believe that the Latin, Zoologically correct name for them is EVIL RAT BASTARDS! Out here they steal people's bunnies and small dogs! They snatch little birdies from right in front of you! ARRRGGGHHH! And I hate the very feathers of them! {sorry!}

    m ^..^

  36. tales from an oc cottage says

    He was eye-ing Max…that tempting morsel!{ok, sure, he'd get a hernia trying to haul Max away…but be careful!;}

    m ^..^

  37. Susan

    I could be totally wrong, and I didn't read the other posts but check this site and compate, http://www.google.com/images?um=1&hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&biw=1440&bih=634&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=1&q=immature+bald+eagles&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=. Could you have an immature bald eagle? From what I have read it take 5 – 6 years for an American Bald Eagle to mature, which is when their head and tale feathers turn white. As I said I could be wrong


  38. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Christy…he does look sort of like the image of the immature bald eagle. I'm not sure about the chest, though…that looks sort of hawk like. Ummm, now I'm wondering. 🙂 Thanks for sending the link! That would be something if he were a bald eagle!

  39. Susan, we had a hawk family nesting in one of our trees for a couple of years. They are fascinating! Our couple moved across the street to a larger tree. 😉
    It's been fun to watch them as they raise their young.

  40. LaurieAnna's Vintage Home says

    He looks like a healthy happy Red Tailed Hawk to me! I'm in awe of predatory birds too, hawks and owls are fascinating, aren't they? Great photo!

  41. Terry @ La Bella Vie says

    Yep, Red Tailed Hawk. We have them all the time here on our property.
    If this one is hanging out watching under the feeder he's waiting for what we call "a hot meal"…mice clean up the left over seed under the feeder and the hawk watches and waits for an unsuspecting meecer and catches it…hence the waiting for "a hot meal…


  42. Terry @ La Bella Vie says

    Oh and after reading the other comments, yes they can carry off other unsuspecting critters besides meecers, like small cats…good thing Max is an indoor kitty, my girls are too.

  43. Mel's Cabin says

    We have gray hawks in our yard from time to time. Mel's Cabin

  44. I don't know much about hawks so I'll defer to others in that regard, but he is very handsome! We see a lot of hawks here because we have woods behind our house. The kids and I love to watch them floating on the breezes looking for a meal or snack.

    I'm a new follower 🙂

  45. My husband, who knows about nature and all that stuff, says it is a Red Tail Hawk

  46. Absolutely stunning!
    The most interesting thing is that your picture shows a "full crop" on this buteo. Hunting won't be necessary for some time.

    What a treat to observe.

  47. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Wow, I didn't even a crop was until now. No wonder he looks so fluffy there. 🙂 So guess that's why Mr. Squirrel was safe.

  48. Craig Glenn says

    Hi Susan! thanks for the visit. I am leaning toward the Red-Tailed but it really is hard to tell with the young ones. Here is some information that may help from allaboutbirds.com.

    Red-tailed Hawk

    Size & Shape

    Red-tailed Hawks are large hawks with typical Buteo proportions: very broad, rounded wings and a short, wide tail. Large females seen from a distance might fool you into thinking you’re seeing an eagle. (Until an actual eagle comes along.)
    Color Pattern

    Most Red-tailed Hawks are rich brown above and pale below, with a streaked belly and, on the wing underside, a dark bar between shoulder and wrist. The tail is usually pale below and cinnamon-red above, though in young birds it’s brown and banded. “Dark-phase” birds are all chocolate-brown with a warm red tail. “Rufous-phase” birds are reddish-brown on the chest with a dark belly.

    Red-Shouldered Hawk

    Immature Description
    Juvenile in East streaked brown and white on underside, brown above, tail with dark and light brown bands, wing crescent tawny. Juvenile in West similar to adult, with more barring than streaking on underside and distinct tail banding.

  49. OMG…we are looking for bunk beds for our two older boys. Any chance you live in Ohio and want to sell them?

  50. He's a red tail hawk a raptor or bird of prey native to Ga, SC and NC

  51. Alycia Nichols says

    I don't know much about hawks, but the one in your photo looks very similar to the kind I see here in the Kansas City, MO area all the time. You got a fabulous picture of him!!!

  52. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Anonymous who asked about the beds in the post below…no, I'm afraid we are in Georgia and saving the beds for another use. Thanks for asking, though.

  53. Hi Susan, I looks like a red tailed hawk… They are EASY to ID, watch when he flies(He has a gorgeous RED TAIL!!!)… They are Very Plentiful and you are right we see SO much with the foliage gone, SO it's a wonderful way to look at the benefits of winter, hehe…
    Loved you snowman table! So Pretty!
    Hugs to you,

  54. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says

    I wonder if your hawk visitor is the missing New York hawk called, Lola, Susan. I put in a link for you below. Apparently, she has decided to take in the United States!


  55. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Kathy…thanks for the link! Maybe we should call this hawk, Lola! 🙂

  56. Susan, he looks a lot like the Cooper's Hawk that hangs around our place. If you have bird feeders, he may be hanging out close to them. They eat other birds. Here is a link to some photos of ours: http://amongthesaguaros.blogspot.com/2011/01/why-nothing-gets-done-in-my-kitchen.html

  57. ~SueSCharmingChippyCottageCreations~ says

    Hi Susan beautiful bird I think he is a red tail. They will hang at the feeders and eat other birds here I found the pile of feathers where they ate the doves who eat the seeds on ground. There is one in my neighborhood and I have seen it chasing kittens and rabbits.

  58. Leigh of Bloggeritaville says

    cross examine this immature eagle on this photographers site:


    There are several pics of immature bald eagles, the picture 1/4 from bottom looks much like your bird…

  59. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Leigh, thanks so much for the link! I think he looks more like an immature bald eagle than a Redtail after looking at so many pics online. There is a large pond behind the house that is directly behind me…and the Chattahoochee river is just 3 or 4 miles away.

  60. Copycat Creator says

    Looks like a Red-tail Hawk to me! It sure is beautiful! I scared some kind of HUGE bird off my patio when I opened my front door not to long ago. I was so disappointed! I wished I had known it was out there so I could have peeked out the window to see it first…and take some pics! : ) It was definitely a bird of prey though!

  61. AlisonH says

    (Holding my David Sibley's guide up to the monitor, flipping the hawk pages, while my husband laughs.) That's a juvenile red-tailed hawk–that little bit of white over the eye and the chest pattern is more juvie than adult. It's not a Cooper's at all; I've got a Cooper's nest above my house and see them all the time, and their bodies and wings and the top halves of their heads are grayblue and the stripes in a Cooper's tail are very distinctive.

  62. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Thanks, Alison…I think you are right!

  63. I think it is a red tail hawk. If you look at that long slender triangle of tail feather it is definitely red.
    Love your blog Susan, you always write as if you are speaking directly to each one of us and you find such interesting subjects!

  64. Birds of a feather says

    He or she is a Red Shouldered Hawk. The full chest and belly of spots makes it a Rsh, not a Red Tail. A Red Tail has a ‘belly band’ and the chest is clear. Happy birding!

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