A young bird that let me walk right up to it.  This is called “Young and Dumb” in raptor circles.  The cottontail was no doubt his first major kill and he was proud of it.Young Red-Tailed Hawk

This one is holding a mouse it caught.Red-Tailed Hawk with Mouse

A sitting bird facing you can be difficult to identify, but the Red-Tailed around here have what I call a speckled cummerbund around their waists.Red-Tailed Hawk With Cumberbun)

This bird is showing you the best identification marks.  The patches of brown between the shoulder and wrist, the speckled cummerbund, the red tail and (for me) the dark hooks beyond the wrist patches.Red-Tailed Hawk

The red tail isn’t present until the bird is mature at three to four years.  It is probably illegal for me to have this tail even though it was taken from roadkill.Red-Tailed Hawk (Becomes Rufous with Maturity)

Red-Tailed Hawk Nest

Red-Tailed Hawk Fledglings

This photo illustrates why it would be wise if we stopped and kicked roadkill into the ditch.Why it is a good idea to remove road-kill to the ditch

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