The Red-tailed Hawk release turned out to be quite a show today! At about mile 125 on the Glenn Hwy (just north of the "Hawk Watch" area) I took a dirt road off the main drag, in order to get far away from traffic. I found a great little place in a hilly area where I decided to release him. I opened the kennel door and he sat in the doorway just studying the surroundings for a few minutes, then flew up to the top of a Spruce nearby . Within a minute, a Northern Hawk Owl (one of my personal favorites!) began to dive-bomb him! The hawk seemed to fend him off just fine, but the dive-bombing continued for a good 10 minutes, the Hawk Owl cussing and chattering all the while. He obviously was quite perturbed and twitterpated with the situation - I suspect there were youngsters nearby. As if that wasn't enough, out of the blue a Northern Goshawk swooped down at the Red-tailed! He circled once, then flew directly over my head and checked me out, as if he knew I was the cause of all the commotion.
Anyway, when I left about 15 minutes after releasing the hawk, things had settled down quite a bit, but I could still hear that relentless Hawk Owl chewing the Red-tailed out. Those little Hawk Owls are ornery little cusses, huh?
Sorry for the blurry pictures.......too much excitement to capture it terribly well.
This was taken from an email from Ellen, a long time Bird TLC volunteer.