A Fine Fall Hawk Watch
on Bald Eagle Mountain
October 27, 2005


On Wednesday, Oct. 27, Dan Ombalski showed Sue and me a great spot for the fall raptor migration: on Bald Eagle Mountain, just west of State College.

We spent about four hours there and saw over 130 red-tailed hawks fly by, as well as a variety of other hawks, including a northern harrier, a black vulture, and two immature bald eagles.

Photographically speaking, the best opportunities were for the red-tailed hawks, such as the one below.

Approaching red-tailed hawk

I also was able to get any number of side views:
Eye-level red-tailed hawk

And if it is one aspect of mature red-tailed hawks, they certainly have bright red tails.
Red-tailed hawk
The red tails come in all variety of color and pattern.
Red-tailed hawk
Red-tailed hawks can look totally different from one another. The first photo of this page showed a particularly sleek one, whereas the one below looks like a cargo transport.
A red-tailed hawk with a full gullet

According to Dan, the red-tail above most probably had eaten very recently and has its meal tucked into its gullet.

In terms of flight majesty, the two immature bald eagles of the day took first prize. The second one flew by close to us:

Immature bald eagle

Photo note: I used a Pentax *ist D, with the SMC reflex 400-600mm lens.  

Red-tailed hawk closeups   |   Eagle nest watch   |   A mobbing

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