I often hear the screeching cry (kee-ahh) of a hawk in my yard. One spring a pair had nested in our back yard very close to the house but I never saw more than a head poking above the nest. So one morning recently while I was enjoying my hammock and a good book, I heard the familiar cry (actually I am hearing it as I type this). I looked into the trees to find the source - and I found it! I excitedly ran to get my camera and here is the result.
After studying the pictures and the bird book, I think this is a Red Shouldered Hawk. Notice the striped tail and wings and the reddish color on the breast. He is one of the larger hawks.
He (or she?) very obligingly sat for about fifteen minutes. We had just had three days and nights of heavy rain and I wonder if he was drying himself in the sun. He kept holding his wings out and spreading his tail. These pictures were made from my front porch at a distance of 200 yards using my optical zoom.
I often hear and see him fly across my front yard and I hear him in the woods. Sometimes I hear him in the trees but just can't spot him. Seeing him that morning was really special! It reminded me that Mr. B and I aren't the only ones who live on this spot!
See what the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has to say about the Red Shouldered Hawk. Be sure to listen to the cry.