Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Red-Shouldered Raptor, Noble Hunter

Noonish, mid-November. 
Cary, North Carolina, on a pristine autumn day, with light overcast and temperatures around 60 degrees. 
Red-shouldered raptor glides swift and low over the suburban street, 
joining its mate on the faux iron fence enclosing a tiny drainage pond.

They share a meaningful glance, and the flier moves on, leaving its partner to hunt alone.

A steady parade of autos cruises the busy byway, 
but this beautiful buteo is unmoved, intent on the task at hand.

Cool nights mean fewer frogs for our famished flyers, 
but the hungry, keen-eyed watcher hopes for better results in the warmth of the midday sun.

Rapt on its pondside perch, 
the red-shouldered hawk never wavers in its laser-like focus.

Orange chest and red shoulders blend seamlessly into the orange and red backdrop of the autumn maples, 

as this magnificent wild creature seeks sustenance in the very heart of suburbia.

Hunter creeps ever closer, seeking the perfect shot, 
but determined not to disturb the hawk in its life or death pursuit.

An amazing encounter, quite surreal; 
Hunter stalking hunter to the very brink of his lens's minimum focus distance,
 providing an intimate view of the distinctive red shoulders upon which the common name of Buteo lineatus is based.

At long last, the persistent shutter clicks expose our intrepid Hunter, and a piercing glance signals that it's time to part.

Adieu, mon ami, et bonne chance, noble chasseur.

Thanks to Hunter Randolph for the use of his fabulous photos.


  1. Replies
    1. Yes. Both words and pictures fall short when the subject is such a magnificent fellow creature; so glad the boys had the opportunity to observe it from such close quarters.