This beautiful Red-tailed Hawk is perched on one of the higher branches of an old-growth pine tree, tall as an eight-story building. This tree is "natural habitat" for good-size raptors such as this bird.
Red-tailed Hawks are found in most of the United States; however, they vary in size and coloration from place to place. This beauty appears to be over twenty inches long and with a wing span of about fifty inches.
In some parts this bird is referred to as a "Chicken Hawk" because the hawk likes to dive down on chickens and pick them up by their back with their strong talons and fly off with them.
We don't have chicken coops in San Francisco, but food supply is not a problem. There are many Pigeons and other smaller birds to provide the hawk with a meal.
Story has it the City hired an outfit with trained hawks, such as this banded bird, in order to rid the City of Pigeons. For whatever reason this bird is here, we are hopeful the Red-tailed Hawk will be around for a long time.
San Francisco has strict laws prohibiting the feeding of ground feeding birds such as sparrows, blackbirds, gulls, Crows and Pigeons. The law are strictly enforced with heavy fines. Once the small birds are gone, the raptors which feed on them will also be gone. NOTE: Not long after this picture was taken the tree was sawed down.
This picture was first published July 27, 2006 by City Birds.
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