Behold! the Red-tailed Hawk of Nauset Light

Just as I was turning to leave Nauset Light the other day, I spotted this GORGEOUS Red-tailed Hawk perched high on a phone pole at the very bottom of the hill.

It was obvious, she was looking for some dinner in the small bramble-covered mound between her and the Light.

I have always been intensely drawn to Red-taileds.

I love their eyes, their intense focus…

The way they waggle their head back and forth when they see something of interest nearby.

Their glorious feathers and yes, even those powerful yellow talons so perfectly suited for snatching up small prey.

I have always felt a deep sense of calm whenever I see a Red-tailed perched on a rooftop, swooping up to a tree or soaring over the highway.

Somehow, when I see them I feel as if everything is okay, or will be soon.

And as I stood there, fresh off my visit to the Light…

I couldn’t help but wonder if this might be the Red-tailed Hawk of Nauset Light…

Charged with watching over this great beacon who herself has been the ultimate protector to countless sailors and pilots all these many, many years.

I guess I like to think that somehow the Light and the hawk, and all the hawks of her line…

Are watching over one another.

Alert and steadfast, assured of their noble purpose, their place in this world.

Harrier Hawk Surprise

I love surprises.

Like a few weeks ago when a bird I was photographing from away up on “Osprey Hill” that overlooks Forest beach marsh turned out to be —

A Harrier Hawk, and not the Great Blue Heron I thought it was at first!

I’ve seen Harriers now for years in the marsh, but I’d never seen one down on the ground, out in the middle of the marsh.

Just lookin’ around.  😉

Perhaps he’d just had a good meal?

Perhaps it was a young harrier, just checking things out?

Or maybe…

He was enjoying the after-summer quiet in the marsh…

As much as me.  😉

Red-Tailed Magic from Above

I had the nicest surprise yesterday morning.

And all I needed to do, was look UP!

Driving through Harwich Port, I spotted two Red-Tailed Hawks perched way up high on the church steeple.

I’d seen Red-Tails there at Pilgrim Congregational Church earlier in the summer, so it’s a habit to always check the spot when I drive through Port.

And today was the day I got treated to them once again.

The sun was warm; its early morning rays providing the perfect backlighting for the pair.

I could see their feathers, some individually, blowing gently in the sea breeze; so soft, so elegant.

And as I walked around the church, if I hadn’t known better I’d have thought the two of them were not even aware of my presence.

But I do know better.

Red-Taileds see everything.

While one of them was busy scanning the environment, looking this way…

And then that.

The other was as intensely occupied with some preening.

And I don’t mean just a little preening…

I mean, a whole lot of preening!   😉

But make no mistake about it, even when Red-Taileds are grooming or eating or hunting, they still notice everything.

When I see them gazing around their world, I know they are watchful; waiting for something to move, something that might even be tasty.

My, I sure was glad to see the two of them again, to know that they are both alive and well.

And as I turned to look upward one more time at the pair…

I said a “Thank you!” to them both.

For because of them, my Labor Day celebrations had already begun!!  😉

Red-tailed Hawk with Feather Fan

I’m not sure if as a couture milliner it’s my love of detail…

Or perhaps simply my fascination with the way light and shadow can bring magic to a subject at any given moment in our natural world.

But last evening while I was out for a walk, something in the distance caught my eye.

Just to my left, backlit by the setting sun, a stunning Red-tailed Hawk perched high atop a deserted telephone pole.

A beautiful sight to see, anytime.

But there was something very different about one of the hawk’s feathers, and the way the light was catching it, that made me want to look closer.

A single feather on the hawk’s folded wing appeared to be askew, twisted in a direction that didn’t fit with all the others.

Just then the hawk turned, as hawks often do, to check out something behind it that had caught its attention.

And that’s when this image happened.

The hawk’s feather, the angle of his head and the way the light was catching it made it look almost like the hawk had drawn a feather fan across its face!

Smiling at the moment, I walked past the hawk and spotted another hawk feather, this one lying on a lawn nearby.

Had there been a skirmish between the hawk and a crow, that maybe loosened a feather or two?

Or was this simply a feather the hawk had preened, that was ready to fall?

I’ll never know.

What I do know is, this was a special moment.

One that I am so glad, for whatever the reason, had caught my eye.  ❤

Hawk Eyes

I spotted her high up on the phone pole as I was making my way down the hill to Mill Landing.

A stunning red-tailed hawk.

With her back to me, she was catching the last rays of the sun.

And watching everything.

She looked to the left…

She looked to the right and then far below.

But mostly, she had her eyes on something across the creek, somewhere up in those tall pine trees across the way.

A hefty sea breeze would occasionally fluff her tail feathers, and she would pause to steady herself.

Preening a bit.

The late evening sunlight caught her soft under feathers, making them glow a warm, fluffy cream.

And those red tail feathers for which these birds are so well known, appeared to steady her like a rudder.

Why, I think even her talons glowed!

Yet it was her eyes that had cast me under her spell.

The eyes of these birds do not miss a thing.

Before too long you can’t take your own eyes off them.

Especially if they happen to cast them upon you!

Suddenly my Lady Hawk shifted position on her perch…

And continued to stare across that channel.

I could see her getting excited as the breeze continued to fluff her soft marbled breast feathers.

Then, just when I kinda’ thought she might be ready to move…

Away she flew!

Flying low over the channel water, she swooped up into the pine trees and disappeared out of sight.

At last, I exhaled.


I paused for just a moment at the Landing, and then, headed for home.

Feeling starstruck.
















Birds of Grace

Sometimes I cannot believe the birds who grace this tiny lens of mine.

redtailhawk17-blogDo they know how much I need their “wildness”?

hawk3-blogTheir stunning beauty?

redtailhawk11-blogDo they know how I long to fly with them, or sit high as a bird on a wire?

redtailhawk12-blogI respect their wildness more than words can say. I would never want to change them.

redtailhawk15b-blogAnd so, from time to time our paths cross, and we look upon one another.

redtailhawk13-blogWithout planning or purpose, we meet eye to eye.

redtailhawk14-blogI have no idea why they don’t just fly away. Why they allow me to stay with them for a while.

But whatever it is within these amazing creatures that allows me to catch a glimpse of their magic…

redtailhawk9b-blogFor that I am most grateful.