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Hawks

True hawks belong to the Accipiter family and only the Goshawk and Sparrowhawk are native to Britain. Their short rounded wings and long tail makes them highly manouevrable in flight, enabling them to chase quarry through woodland. Buzzards (Buteos) also have broad wings which, with their round tail makes them well adapted to soaring on thermals. The Harris Hawk, native to America, has similar characteristics to buzzards (hence its generic name, Parabuteo). It is a popular hunting bird on both sides of the Atlantic

A Young Ferruginous Hawk

Juveniles have a blue cere and eyes

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk

This bird is stalling just before landing - a perfect time for a photo

Goshawk Portrait

A flash of white feathers above the red eyes indicate that this is a mature bird

Harris hawk at sunset

These birds are powerful flyers

Portrait

Eurasian buzzard

One in a million

Every afternoon, a farmer throws out shovelsful of meat for the wild red kites in mid-Wales. Before the kites arrive, crows and buzzards feast on the bounty.

The kill

A goshawk has just caught this rabbit and is pulling out the fur before eating it

A scrap

Harris hawks hunt in family groups so its not unusual for them to alight on food at the same time

Sparrowhawk

in a rowan tree

Slow pan

A buzzard photographed with a slow shutter speed.

Takeoff

Its realtively easy to photograph birds just after takeoff and just before landing

Open wide

Ferruginous buzzards have a very wide gape

Goshawk on prey

These birds eat quickly o the ground and guard their food

The stare

A focused Harris hawk

Cold stare

A buzzard in the snow

Reflective moment

The light is very fine on a snowy day

Wiod buzzard

Photographed in mid Wales

Ferruginous hawk

A handsome North American species

The chase

A Harris hawk chases its prey down and seizes it with its talons

Young Sparrowhawk

The streaked brown feathers on the breast are a juvenile feature

Juvenile

Raptors have extremely acute vision and a large proportion of the skull is devoted to eye sockets

Gliding flight

A Eurasian buzzard

Sparrowhawk on food

The bird is eating quickly to avoid having its meal stolen

Lakeside perch

Most raptors spend much of the day sitting in trees

On guard

Most raptors continually scan the sky for other predators, especially if they have food

Wild caught

A goshawk mantles over food while it is on the ground