Red Shoulder/Tail Hawk

Discussion in 'Birds' started by Dave, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    I'm not sure which one this is as it looks like a Red Shouldered Hawk, but when it took flight I noticed a distinct red tail, which leads me to believe it's a red tailed hawk. Can anybody clarify this for me?

    Here it is first sitting atop a large pine right next to our parking lot at work (100% crop)
    [​IMG]

    Then it flew over to another pine (100% crop)
    [​IMG]

    Next, it looks like it lost it's head while flying (although I'm sure it was looking for lunch down on the ground)
    [​IMG]

    Finally I was able to get it to fly towards me a bit (although it was the middle of the day with crappy lighting and this one has a bit of PP on it)
    [​IMG]

    Then finally the best shot of the series, the banking shot.
    [​IMG]

    Tall taken with D50 and 70-300 VR.

    I'll have to keep an eye out for this fella when I'm driving through our parking lot in the future.
     
  2. Chris_B

    Chris_B

    Mar 12, 2006
    Arlington, VA
    Dave - I think that is a Red-tailed Hawk. The chest on a Red-shoulder is usually bright red/orange vice the brown bands in your first shot.

    Here is a good shot from someone's Pbase site. Compare it to your first and last shot and you will see the differences.

    http://www.pbase.com/johncarol/image/73734907

    I like to check www.whatbird.com to double check my IDs and help learn each bird's distinctive features. Here are the links for both hawks:

    Red-shoulder
    http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/40/_/Red-shouldered_Hawk.aspx

    Red-tailed
    http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/41/_/Red-tailed_Hawk.aspx
     
  3. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    Excellent, thanks for the information and the links Chris. So I noticed in your signature that you have both the D50 and the D200. Do you notice a major difference in the quality of your pictures between these two cameras? I have the D50 and while it is a great camera, I feel like I might benefit from having a more robust camera like the D200. Can you give me any feedback comparing the two?

    Thanks again!
     
  4. Chris_B

    Chris_B

    Mar 12, 2006
    Arlington, VA
    Huge differences between the two. Focus speed and accuracy was huge. I do mostly sports and birds/nature and the D200 was significanlty better than the D50. I really like the controls and layout on the D200 and higher cameras where you can adjust WB, focus and exposure settings on the outside. The FPS rate of the D200 is better and I found the colors were more accurate. Finally, there is a verticle grip and AF-ON button for the D200 which are not available on the D50. I find these two features important for my type of shooting. You can crop more with the D200 too which may be important if you can't get close enough given the lens you are using. The D50 is a very good camera for portraits and other static photography. I think it has better high ISO performance. It certainly is capable of taking very good pictures.
     
  5. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    Yeah, I was starting to realize that there is quite a difference between the two. I have been planning on buying a 2nd body (for more than anything to let my wife have a camera in her hand when we're out and about together) and the D200 seemed like the logical choice for me. I do like that it has many of the features you listed (and that I use on a daily basis) on the camera and not in the menu. I guess it's time to start saving up and start camera lusting.

    Thanks for the comparison though, and the bird ID's again.
     
  6. Chris_B

    Chris_B

    Mar 12, 2006
    Arlington, VA
    You may also want to consider a used D2H or D2Hs. Apart from the file size and cropping limitation, they are again better than the D200. I bought a used D2H for less than I paid for the D200.
     
  7. Dave You have a very nice fully matured red tail hawk. The red tail really shows in your flight photos. The red shoulder is a much smaller raptor than the red tail (wings to about 44 inches) .
    Lou
     
  8. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    Yeah, I hope I can find a used D200 actually as that would be a perfect fit I feel. I like that the size of the D200 (or I should say the body style) is close to that of my D50 so it shouldn't mess with my shooting style that much. I just have to find the funds to upgrade and convince my wife that my pictures will be that much better. :biggrin: I will like having the ability to crop more with the 10 MP censor as well. Thanks again for the advice Chris, this place is so full of information!
     
  9. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    Thanks Lou. Yeah I am wondering if it is the same one I saw around our building a couple of years ago. It looked a little younger then, so it might actually be the same one. I'm sure this is a good place for it to live with a couple of ponds close by and the river only a mile or two away. I wonder where the nest is...
     
  10. I don't think the water makes much difference as the RTH likes meat and road kill. They like open land like hay fields and flat farm land where moles mice and snakes are available and a good old dead tree to watch from.
    Looking for a nest now is a good time as (depending your area) they are nesting in my area and there are no leaves yet and they like to nest in hardwoods mostly on the edges of open fields. I have found 2 new rd tails nesting so far this year. It is most likely the most abundent raptor we have.
    It is a favorite of Falconers also.
    Lou
     
  11. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    I didn't like the washed out sky, so I decided to delve into the possibilities that NX provides (since I shelled out the $$$ for it, I might as well use it). Here is what it produced.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. WOW! Talk about beautiful! I have yet to get a nice photo of a hawk, and look what you get! Way to go! keep em comin!
     
  13. Glacier

    Glacier

    Jan 17, 2006
    Boaz, Alabama
    Interesting effect in the last one. RTH's are a tough bird to photograph but you did pretty well!
     
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