We Are NOT Amused
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Recently, I captured an image of a Red-tailed Hawk, sitting atop a Ponderosa Pine on the lower slopes of one of the mountains in the Santa Rita Range south of Tucson. I laughed when I first saw the photo on my computer. The hawk looked just incredibly annoyed at my presuming to take its picture. It had the kind of aristocratic bearing that big raptors can assume and it glared at me, seemingly haughtily.
Of course, the picture is misleading. Hawks cannot alter their facial appearances to express emotions. There may be times when a hawk is angry or frightened, aggressive or submissive, but they express those sentiments with body language and not facial expressions. Indeed, to me, the big hawks always look kind of annoyed and that appearance says nothing about their actual moods.
That said, the hawk was nonetheless not pleased that I was intruding into its space. Moments after I took this picture it took off and it soared above me, making it evident that it was waiting for me to leave before settling down again.
Image made with a Canon 5Diii, 400DO+1.4X Extender, aperture preferred setting, ISO 640, f6.3 @ 1/800.