The Red-Tailed Hawk or Arthur’s narrow escape

The little birds were having a bird party on the railing to my deck. I tried to fill the bird-feeder, but it was too tall to reach, too stuck to dismantle, and the ladder too wobbly to try. So I poured the pitcher of mixed seed I had prepared onto the railing of our deck. The birds didn’t seem to mind.

Cardinal and house finch - January 13, 2012

All of a sudden the birds scattered and Mark said, “There’s a hawk.”

Red-tailed hawk - January 13, 2012

A hawk had swung by and landed in the top of a tree in the garden beside our drive. I rushed to get my camera and headed outside. Arthur followed me. He walked off the deck, around the stairs and down near the bird feeder. I was trying to locate the hawk.

The next thing I knew, the hawk came swooping low towards where Arthur and I were near the bird feeder. I screamed for Arthur. Now, I don’t know if a hawk is strong enough to take Arthur off into the sky never to be seen again, but I am not willing to take any chances.

The hawk perched itself in a tree near the plentiful feeding grounds we had created.

Red-tailed hawk - January 13, 2012

After a brief period of panic and much cajoling, I finally got the little in-great-need-of-obedience-training dog to come. I closed him securely in the house.

Red-tailed hawk - January 13, 2012

The hawk looked around, watching for birds and watching me.

Red-tailed hawk - January 13, 2012

The hawk didn’t stay in one place very long. It moved around flying and landing here and there.

Red-tailed hawk - January 13, 2012

At one point, I thought it had caught something because it beat its wings back and forth near a tree.

Red-tailed hawk - January 13, 2012

A majestic bird, the red-tailed hawk is one of my husband Mark’s favorites. I’d probably like it a lot better if I knew for certain the hawk will never consider my little white dog prey.

Red-tailed hawk - January 13, 2012

After a short wait, the hawk flapped it’s wings and left. Arthur escaped the hawk to live another day. (Not funny, really.)

Red-tailed hawk - January 13, 2012

For more information on the red-tailed hawk see


For more bird photos, see my bird page under the wildlife tab above.

37 thoughts on “The Red-Tailed Hawk or Arthur’s narrow escape”

  1. Oh my goodness. I would have been screaming at Arthur, too!!! I bet it was like a slow motion movie wasn’t it???? ARRRRTHHHUUURRRRRRR! Oh gosh—-I would have been frantic! I told you about the hawk that snatched a bird from my feeder right when I was there and I felt responsible somehow. Your pictures are fabulous!! What kind of camera are you using??? And how about this crazy Ohio weather? It is 52 degrees and pouring rain in Lima this morning….

    1. I was pretty much screaming at Arthur. I’m using my Nikon D70S (DSLR). It’s about 7 or 8 years old. I woke up this morning thinking I need to look into investing in at least another lens, and perhaps a new camera. My little Nikon Coolpix has a better zoom and larger megapixel size.

      It’s hard to keep up with technology. Especially when it’s just a part-time, sometimes, hobby.

  2. YIKES!! Thank goodness Arthur is okay!! I’d have been screaming, too! LOVED these photos of one of my favorite birds. I know what you mean about new lenses. We bought a new camera last year (a Nikon) but I really really want another lens. But the bird ones are expensive unfortunately… so we’ll see.

    1. Are there actually “bird” lenses? Or are you talking about a strong telephoto? I haven’t been in the market since I got my DSLR.

      Now I’m really starting to want a new camera.

  3. great pics Christine!! Glad Arthur and you are ok!! I just got a new camera for Christmas, Canon 60D, LOVE IT!!! 18 megapixel, my older Canon was only 8 megs.
    Thanks for sharing your stories and pictures, I just love’em!!

    1. I was so excited to see you here commenting on my blog, Susan. I don’t know why our friends from high school don’t come over here. Welcome. I hope you come back. I’ve got a couple more cool wildlife photos coming this week and next.

      I remember when you got your camera. I think I may try to get one for my birthday. (Are you reading this Mark?) I don’t think he is. He never reads the comments. I could try a strategy that seems to work frequently for him and just break the old one. . .

      1. LOL that works well Christine but for me I just have to ask and if he can, my wonderful hubby will get what I ask for. Except last night I asked if I could have a pig and he said NO, NO PIGS IN THE HOUSE!!! I will have to work on him for that one!! heheheee…

  4. Oh the perils of owning (and loving) a tiny dog! I’ve been there too, with Zeus only weighing in at 5 pounds. He must look like a little bunny from the air. Even if a hawk didn’t take a little dog, I imagine just the strike would do damage. Some of these birds zoom down out of the sky at such speed. So glad Arthur survived his close call.

    The Red Tailed Hawk is beautiful, Christine. And your photos are amazing!

    1. Well, you’re right, even though Arthur isn’t as tiny as Zeus. In fact, he’s twice the size of Zeus. And depending on how recently he’s had a haircut, he can look pretty big with his fluffy hair. I feel fairly confident that a hawk couldn’t pick him up. But I wish you wouldn’t have said that about the strike. . .

  5. Save your money….your camera body is fine, invest in lenses. Lots of great used Nikon lenses out there for very little money.

    Great pics by the way!

      1. yes! deal with a camera shop….but, recently as I was buying my new camera and looking at lenses I found that refurbished lenses were almost as costly as a new one and with a new one you get a better warranty (sp). My camera was still in good shape too but I wanted more megapixels… I went from 8 to 18.

  6. We had a similar adventure in our backyard – thankfully it was a dead squirrel dangling from the hawk and not a dead miniature pinscher! The hawk was back twice before getting the squirrel.

    Earlier in the summer, we had to keep the min pin inside because a pair of hawks kept circling over our yard. Our yard is very small and the homes in our subdivision are tight against each other. I’m surprised the hawks came so close.

    I used a Canon Rebel t3i to take it, with a zoom lens that goes to 150.


    1. That’s just sad. I’m glad I haven’t witnessed anything like that yet.
      I was surprised at how close the hawk came too.

      I think I’m going to skip looking at the photo.

      1. Sorry – I wasn’t clear on that. My photos don’t show the dead squirrel; that happened the second time the hawk visited. The pictures on my blog are the hawk sitting on the tree and then flying away the first time.

        Also, I disagree with Marty. The new cameras have a lot of things that work much better such as the autofocus, nine points of focus, and ISO up to 6400. It really helps the consistency and quality of the pictures. With the nine point of focus, you could have dialed down to a single center focal point which would have kept your camera focused on the hawk and not the tree.

    1. Thanks, Susan. You don’t always think about it, but our pets are prey too. I did worry about that a lot when we first moved here. I was worried about coyotes. I guess I still am.

  7. What a fantastic place to live, Christine, to be able to see such wonderful creatures. I’m so glad Arthur is safe. The hawk reminds me of the time in St. George, Utah (desert town in southwest corner of the state where Jen and I once lived for four dry years), of an owl that sat all day in the tree just outside our front door. It was the first time and only time I ever saw a live owl. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a camera at the time, so I can only see it in memory.

    These photographs you’re posting are wonderful, and I’m looking forward to the next ones

    BTW, I just finished writing a review of your awesome memoir. I’ll be posting it on my blog tomorrow morning. I’m going to put it up within the next hour on Amazon and B&N. I bought the book for my Nook Color so I could clearly see and enjoy the photographs you included in it.

  8. Fantastic photos! The red-tailed hawks around here take off as soon as I move towards the door, making it nearly impossible for me to get a photo of one.

    I would worry about Arthur too. I lost a cat to a red-tailed hawk. The much-loved CJ the Warrioress Cat. I was sad about her loss for a long time, and I still miss her. The odd thing was that I never got angry with the hawk over it. CJ was a little cat (just under 6 lbs., fully grown) and I guess she was just right for lunch.

    1. Oh, Robin. Your comment makes me feel so sad for you. I don’t even want to know how you know.

      It also makes me feel even more scared. I’ve always heard about it, but never knew anyone who lost a pet to a hawk.

      We’re keeping Arthur on a short leash.

  9. Christine, I know I have taken my time in getting here, but here I am, and what a great first post to open up in your weekly digest.. I love Hawks.. we have Sparrow Harks here not a large I think as your Red-Tailed .. But just as beautiful to watch as they hover and swirl in the sky.
    I am happy those little birds escaped, I know I have seen sparrows plucked off my lawn when a Hawk decided it wanted dinner…
    Its amazing though as many a time if a hawk is around the birds warn each other, and we get to know their warning calls when one is around..
    Beautiful photos Christine.. 🙂


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: