Sunday, March 6, 2016

Bald Eagle meet Red-shouldered Hawk

The thing about birding is that you never know what you're going to can plan all you want but the end results are often filled with surprises, today was no exception.
I had planned to park on Island Inn Road and go through the Sanibel Garden Preserve with the hopes of finding some Swallow-tailed Kites first but a gate was put up and I couldn't drive through - plan B - park at the Bailey Tract parking lot and walk problem.
The sun was just starting to come up on the horizon and it cast a beautiful glow on the Coot, making its red eye shine.

I made it to the Sanibel Garden Preserve and I discovered this lovely pair of Red-bellied Woodpecker, it must be nesting season because I came across many pairs after these two.

"I got your back, honey."

Not too far from the tower I saw a Blue Jay doing a poor imitation of a Red-shouldered Hawk.

An Eastern Phoebe was basking in the sun in between insect dives.

Awwww! I finally got to see one - not quite where I had anticipated but quite happy regardless. What a beauty these Swallow-tailed Kites are - they are arriving from Brazil and will spend the spring into summer while raising their youngs.

On my way to the Bailey Tract I always make a point to stop at my magic tree to see what is happening there - today a Bald Eagle landed and posed - how lucky is that!

Seems like he had unwanted company hanging around.

I watched as this scenario unfolded time and time again....a brief period of stillness until the Red-Shouldered Hawk would return and dive bomb the Eagle.

Always coming very close but never touching each other.

And another....

and at some point the hawk gave up harassing the eagle and/or the eagle left before anymore encounters.

That really made for an exciting 5 minutes - and some fresh material to share with the folks that I meet up along the trails at the Bailey Tract.

A Pied-billed Grebe - he will soon leave to make the journey back north and get nesting underway.

A colorful Pileated Woodpecker lady.

Check the hair style!

And last but not least - a Northern Mockingbird perched by my car while I was chatting with a lovely couple about - what else - birds!...which led to butterflies, bobcats and oh the places we go....oh my! Happy Sunday all!


  1. Be sure to make a trip to the Lakeland area this early Summer to observe and photograph Mississippi Kites, France. Well worth the drive if you find the birds. The odds are good.

  2. I will keep that in mind Bob, thanks.