In the midst of a full day’s search for rare birds on Long Island and in Queens a common bird stole the show, at least for a little while. A juvenile Red-tailed Hawk was perched on a pine tree in the median at Jones Beach, being assaulted by Northern Mockingbirds. It flew to a second tree where it scanned the grassy shoulders of the road for prey while doing its best to pretend the mockingbirds bouncing off its back were of no consequence.

It then glided from the tree to the grass, where it captured and killed a small prey item that was unidentifiable. It flew with its snack to the top of yet another tree where it ate, but not in peace, as mockingbirds continued to do their best to drive him away from their territories. When it flew to still another tree it was mobbed by crows before flying out of sight among the dunes.

So what made this young hawk so special? In addition to ignoring the mockingbirds it completely ignored me, allowing for some photography.

first sighting


You again!?!

This is getting tiresome.

Time for some take-out.

Just on my way to lunch.

Don't mind me, I'm just standing on my meal.

Must find quiet place to eat this.

Almost there...

Come on already!  I'm trying to eat!


The end.

Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.