Date: 2/3/18 3:09 pm
From: Kojo Baidoo <baidookojo6...>
Subject: [MDBirding] Close encounters of the RSHA variety
It was nice to finally get outside today after a couple weeks of not being able to bird. After a winter of seeing her almost every time I've been outside, I know exactly where to find my favorite resident Red-shouldered Hawk, Hera, and it didn't take long to run into her. Recently, she hasn't been the tamest, so I was hoping for a change of heart. After a few perch changes, she chose a low, exposed branch to rest, but I was expecting her to fly as I approached; normally she doesn't spend much time on low perches in the morning. However, she fixed an eye on me but stayed put, and stayed that way for about half an hour. I was especially happy that she definitely didn't seem stressed at all, taking her gaze off of me several times and even preening a bit. When she's not comfortable with me being there, I can tell because she's often glancing behind her, looking for a way out. This wasn't the case this morning. I'm not sure why she had a sudden change of heart, but previous close encounters have always taken place at the end of January/beginning of February; I wonder if that's a coincidence. Probably so. Either way, I was happy to share my morning with such an amazing bird, and I'm glad I have photos to remember the occasion. At the end of February, she'll start renovating the the nest and courtship with Zeus will commence. Hopefully, I'll be around to watch their breeding process once again... but as soon as those chicks are born I'll have to start watching my back.

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/132863360@N02/39356276834/in/dateposted-public/

Thanks for reading,

Kojo Baidoo
Reisterstown, MD

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