Raptors and F-18s

Richard Bradus

Thank you Brian Fitch!

I thought I was crazy but, shortly after arriving at Alta Plaza Park around 1 pm to watch the Blue Angels, I looked up and saw a hawk flying due south in a slight dihedral. Thinking "Red-tail" as they are the typical sighting, I was flabbergasted when I saw what looked like an almost completely pale underbody and wing with just a bit of dark "elbow" marks and dark wing tips, apparently un-banded tail - and no patagial stripe! It seems almost certain that this was the same Ferruginous that Brian reported flying over Buena Vista just a short time later.

Interestingly, after the Blue Angels started roaring overhead, a pair of Red-tails actually flew about just to the northwest of the park, putting on a display of their own with tandem flight and then circling each other with talons out. And a bit later an immature Red-tail flew over, due south in the same course as the Ferrug., plus an adult Red-shouldered  - all seemingly ignoring the screaming jets in our midst (and totally unlike my experiences in past years atop Hawk Hill when the raptors seems disappear when the jets scream into the area).

And, despite the noise and geopolitical ramifications, the air show was pretty good too.


Richard Bradus
San francisco