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Redtail Hawk - Buteo jamaicensis | by emace
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Redtail Hawk - Buteo jamaicensis

This time of year I spend a certain amount of my photo time out driving in the country looking for raptors. Redtails are very common around most parts of Illinois and I'd wager that you'd be hard pressed to drive more than a few miles without seeing one somewhere. They seem to really like to hunt from perches along the roads and will sit there undisturbed by cars passing close to them. However, if you slow down or let them see you pointing a camera at them and they usually split for parts unknown.


Occasionally, though, you'll find one that is not at all worried by you stopping to take their picture. My experience has been that the birds that allow this are almost always juveniles. They just don't seem to know any better so they almost trust us. This bird is one of them.


I found this guy/gal on a post next to one of the fields that are part of the Jim Edgar Panther Creek Fish and Wildlife Area. It was fine with me getting within about 30 feet of it as long as I stayed in the truck. As soon as I opened the door the photo session ended.


Update: This made it to Explore 207 on Thursday, November 12, 2009. Thanks!

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Taken on November 6, 2009