A Hawk's Eye View

A close-up look at this majestic soaring predator

By Brian M. Collins
Published: January 20, 2011
The darkened tips of the red-tail hawk’s primary flight feathers carry melanin, a pigment that offers strength reinforcement as well as color.
Photo by Brian M. Collins
In my mind’s eye, I see big, white, summer clouds rising on warm thermals through bluebird skies. Sunlight reflects from deep green oak leaves, while a hot wind blows through the bluestem grass. Above me, a lone male red-tailed hawk soars on the thermal, calling out in defense of its nest and territory with a long, hoarse, “keeerrrrrrrrrr!”
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