Juvenile Hawk in the Backyard

You never know what nature is going to show you…

When I went into the garage to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer, I noticed a large bird in the backyard.  I got my camera and tried to get some pictures of it. They weren’t very good because I was shooting through the glass of the kitchen window, but I could tell that it was a large juvenile Red-Shouldered Hawk. It had killed a rat and was trying to figure out how to get a good hold of it so it could fly off with it.  When I took the camera outside to try to get a better shot, the hawk flew up onto the fence with the rat in tow, and then took off.  It’s really unusual to see a hawk of that size in our neighborhood – but there must be enough food, i.e. rats, around for it to eat or it wouldn’t be here. It was a cool treat to be able to see it.

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Mary K. Hanson is a breast cancer survivor who, at age 61, took coursework to become a Certified California Naturalist. The author of “The Chubby Woman’s Walkabout”™ blog, Ms. Hanson has also written nature-based feature articles published in regional newspapers, authored over ten books, including her "Cool Stuff Along the American" series of guide books, and has had her photographs featured in books, articles, calendars, on the American River Parkway Foundation’s Instagram stream, and even the White House blog. This year Ms. Hanson is helping to launch and teach a new Certified California Naturalist course through Tuleyome, in partnership with the University of California and the Woodland Library, so members of the public can themselves become certified as naturalists in the state. All of the photos seen on her website were taken by Ms. Hanson herself (unless noted otherwise) with moderate- to low-end photographic equipment more easily affordable to the everyday nature enthusiast. She also occasionally leads photo-walks through the American River Bend Park for the public and is sometimes available for public speaking.