Red-shouldered Hawk, Snake Got Away - click to enlarge

Red-shouldered Hawk, Snake Got Away

OK, I assume it was a snake based on the way this hawk was acting. He stood right there, grabbing out with his foot once in awhile, and then stepped back waiting.

Red-shouldered Hawk, Snake Got Away - click to enlarge
Red-shouldered Hawk, Snake Got Away – click to enlarge

Why a snake ? First the bird never did try to grab anything with his beak. Basically protecting his face. Next, not once did he spread his wings out in the ‘mantle’ position to cover the prey from above.

Red-shouldered Hawk, Snake Got Away - click to enlarge
Red-shouldered Hawk, Snake Got Away – click to enlarge

He did watch closely, and was very patient.

Red-shouldered Hawk, Snake Got Away - click to enlarge
Red-shouldered Hawk, Snake Got Away – click to enlarge

Eventually he quickly took off, with no prey. Snakes in the marshes here can be deadly. Predators know this and will give them respect.

The number of different situations we can see during any one shoot is always amazing. A few minutes after this we were visiting Great Blue heron nests.

7 thoughts on “Red-shouldered Hawk, Snake Got Away”

    1. Thanks. He was being much too careful for anything else. Snakes are a large part of a Red-shouldered Hawks diet. In the southern US we have many ‘cottonmouth’ snakes. A normal size cottonmouth would be deadly to a mid sized hawk.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Up in Jersey the ones to watch out for when hiking are the northern copperhead and timber rattler. Mainly you see like corn, milk, brown, pine and water snakes. Very neat. I’m terrible at identifying so I just go in the other direction if sighted lol

      Like

    3. I have run into them in Sussex county (Walpack NJ) many times. We also have those. There is another surprising rattler here too. A tiny, then, Garter snake like one. Diamonds on their back, and after poking one rattles. Nasty little things and actually more aggressive than the Diamondbacks. But the big Cottnmouth is the most common since we are swamps and marshes. On this site there are several articles with them. Search on ‘snake’ and they should pop up.

      Liked by 1 person

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