Close encounters with raptors

Richard Bradus

Hi again

It seems I've been missing all the rare migrant hawks that have been passing over SF the past few days (especially today!) but I've been lucky to have some close up views of some of our more usual raptors. 

Yesterday while walking about the trails above Dominican College in San Rafael I was treated to a low flying Peregrine that appeared to be in hot pursuit of something, rapidly circling just above the treetops before flying off. Just a few minutes later as I got close to the parking area a Red-shouldered Hawk flew right by me and perched on a low limb overlooking the creek floor, perhaps 5 meters away, seemingly unconcerned with my gawking.

Then today, while walking through Alta Plaza park here in SF on my way to Fillmore St., despite the ridiculous amount of noise coming from road work on Steiner St. (or perhaps because of it?) I was astounded to see an immature Red-tail grab some kind of rodent and fly past me, perching in a small tree to consume its catch. Amazingly it just perched there and devoured its prey as another passer-by and I approached to within just a few meters to take photos with our phones (my ancient iPhone). Here's one: (note the other gentleman at the lower right taking a photo as well)
Inline image

Truly a sight to behold.

I'm now wondering - could it be because of my flamboyant colored red hair? 😜

Anyway, hope you all have some interesting encounters as well.

Richard Bradus
San Francisco

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