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Old 06-16-2020, 12:07 AM   #1
Makwa
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Red-Tailed Hawk screeching repeatedly?

Not a sighting in the Adirondacks but it is a species one would find there.

I was out walking in Albany Rural Cemetery the last two days. There's nearly 500 acres of green space and forest on this property and I often see hawks circling the grounds. So on each of these outings I encountered a red-tailed hawk doing something I had never heard/seen before. It screeched over and over and over. Like 15 times in a row when I was in the same area it was. I assume it was the same hawk on each of the days as the encounters were no more than a half mile apart and the behavior of two different hawks doing something I've never run into before would be a hell of a coincidence.

What would cause this behavior? I've heard hawks screech a few times but never repeatedly like that and never for so long or so loud. The screech almost sounded pained. It went on for over a minute each time.

Any ideas?

Last edited by Makwa; 06-16-2020 at 07:21 AM..
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Old 06-16-2020, 06:40 AM   #2
Woodly
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If I had to guess...you were in the general area of its nest but also I have often thought their screech can get game to move so they can see it.
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Old 06-16-2020, 06:49 AM   #3
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Probably defending its nest or territory. Also, the young should be leaving the nest very soon, if they haven't done so already
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Old 06-16-2020, 07:32 AM   #4
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The young will screech constantly while flying or sitting in a tree they've flown to as they learn. We're fortunate to have had nests near our house for several years and it's always fun, sometimes distressing, to see how things develop. For many years the nest was at eye-level from the top of a nearby bank so we could watch the young (eyas) grow, but it was relocated from that spot on the edge of a large stream to directly over a busy road so now the only view is from almost straight below while standing in the road and there's no telling how many eggs/young there are until they start leaving the nest to hang out on nearby branches.
Though my house is less than a 1/4 mile away, they rarely fly over us because there are merlins that chase them off. Here is the class of 2020 before they learned to fly. At least I think I'm posting the picture, it won't show up for me.

rt.jpg
We have also been treated to eastern screech owls right over our patio who come out and join us for dinner. We'd been hearing the "regular" call for several weeks but never saw them. All that time we were hearing another call we were unfamiliar with and figured it must be the owls but couldn't find any recordings, at one point I convinced myself it was frogs, but then my wife saw one fly to the cavity in the tree to make the confirmation. This cavity is at eye-level from the upstairs window where I've sat and stared out during endless video meetings since returning home from a camping trip in Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness in March. I never saw the owl all that time.
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Old 06-16-2020, 07:39 AM   #5
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No picture of the red tails for me, but that's happened before when I posted photos and they appeared for others. I can see the owls though. The video meetings have gone something like this for me too.
In the recent DEC report there was an advisory about "attacking" hawks near Pharaoh Lake but the species wasn't identified. Anyone know what the culprit is?
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Old 06-16-2020, 07:55 AM   #6
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My guess on the "attacking" hawks would be Goshawks. They are often very aggressive around their nest sites
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Old 06-16-2020, 11:49 AM   #7
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Banjoe, that's interesting and I can see both photos.
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Old 06-16-2020, 12:12 PM   #8
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Thanks all. Interesting stuff. So I was the intruder that the hawk was protecting its territory from? Given I was the only thing bigger than the hawk moving around I guess that makes sense.

I don't think I was dealing with a young hawk. Looked rather normal size. And the screech to spook prey into moving was probably not the case. I was doing that for the hawk. You can't walk 20 feet in that cemetery without scaring off a squirrel or chipmunk. They are constantly on the move when I come stomping through.

On the other side of the grounds from those two encounters I found part of a squirrel hide and tail. I assume discarded from a predator. I would guess either hawk or perhaps fox was the culprit.

While we're on the topic of large birds I may as well share the story of the turkey vulture I encountered over there as well. From a report posted over on the adkhighpeaks forum... "Within the last week I walked into a field in the far western edge of the grounds to find a turkey vulture standing there. I walked closer and snapped a few grainy cell phone photos before it took off, circled the field a few times, dive-bombed me within twenty feet or so on each lap, then pulled up and landed in a tree where we stared each other down for a few minutes. It was unflinching until it finally got bored with me and took off again to circle the field as I continued on my way. I've seen dozens of turkey vultures over the years but never from that close."
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:34 PM   #9
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Juvenile hawks of some species, including red tails, are bigger than adults because they have some feathers that they later lose.
Going to get the flux capacitor fixed on my computer so I can see both pictures. When I posted the first time I could see the red tail picture but not the owls, then I tried editing and it switched. I just attached the picture of the juvenile hawks to this post and the image is visible to me (but I'm not re-posting just for my sake).
Think I'll grab my binoculars and go outside.
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banjoe View Post
Juvenile hawks of some species, including red tails, are bigger than adults because they have some feathers that they later lose.
Ahhhh... good info. Thanks.
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Old 06-24-2020, 04:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banjoe View Post
Juvenile hawks of some species, including red tails, are bigger than adults because they have some feathers that they later lose.
Going to get the flux capacitor fixed on my computer so I can see both pictures. When I posted the first time I could see the red tail picture but not the owls, then I tried editing and it switched. I just attached the picture of the juvenile hawks to this post and the image is visible to me (but I'm not re-posting just for my sake).
Think I'll grab my binoculars and go outside.

Training wheels for inexperienced fledglings.
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