Red-tailed Hawk’s Mysterious Ground Search

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I’d share a photo of a Red-tailed Hawk perched on the ground at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. What was it doing down there?

Alert Red-tailed Hawk Hunts Among the Grass
Alert Red-tailed Hawk Hunts Among the Grass

This curious hawk caught my attention as it repeatedly swooped down, close enough for me to see its focused search. While I couldn’t pinpoint its target, I observed its keen movements: turning its head, scanning the grass, and surveying the area with piercing eyes. After a few moments, it perched on a nearby roadside sign, resuming its ground inspection.

Red-tailed Hawk Searching the Grass
Red-tailed Hawk Searching the Grass

Intrigued, I considered the unseasonably warm February weather and recent rainfall. The air buzzed with frog calls, even from the water-filled roadside ditch. Red-tailed Hawks boast a diverse menu, including small mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, and amphibians like frogs. Though I didn’t spot any standing water where the hawk searched, perhaps it sought a tasty insect like a grasshopper hidden among the vegetation.

Note: The mystery remains! What do you think the hawk was after? I have photographed a Vole near this location: Vole Or Field Mice

Image Information:

  • Date: 02/02/24
  • Time: 10:54 AM
  • Camera: Canon EOS R5
  • Lens: Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM
  • ISO: 400
  • Aperture: 9
  • Shutter: 1/1000
  • Exp. Comp.:+0.3
  • Lens (mm): 500
  • Program Mode: Manual