Raleigh Raptors

This is a continuing coverage of the Raleigh Raptors, a pair of Red-tailed Hawks who in March of 2011, took up residency in downtown Raleigh, NC and raised 4 eyasses. The eyasses have long fledged the nest, but their story continues.

For a brief history, check out my 2 books about these hawks.  The books are available for preview / purchase at http://www.blurb.com/user/store/jordanpaw

All images are copyrighted. Please do not use without permission. Thanks.


Jan 1, 2012 – Feb 29, 2012 Raleigh Raptors 2012

November 7, 2011 – EDT startsEDT Nov-2011/


November 2, 2011

One hawk was on the cross and after pooping, took off after a pigeon. He missed :(.I found the other hawk waiting atop the bus stop parking lot.

Next week should be interesting as we Fall Back to EST. Mornings would be brighter at 7:30, but would the hawks be there? We’ll see.

November 1, 2011

I haven’t seen the kid(s) lately, but yesterday (10/31/2011), I saw two hawks take off from the Bank of America building. No images as my hands were full. However, today, mama and papa seems to be back for a visit. I was hoping to catch both hawks with the rising sun, but mama flew off before I could take a shot. Nice to see them both doing well.

October 18, 2011

Mama (i think) circled a few times by the RBC building and flew in my direction. I only had my trusty Point & Shoot, so bear with me on this image. I think this is pretty good for a P&S 🙂

October 13, 2011

The past 2 weeks have been very quiet in terms of sightings, at least during those times that I can get around downtown. However, tonight was different. While rounding Mcdowell street, I saw 2 hawks fly past over a building. I was still stopped at the light and as soon as I turned, I stopped at Nash Square park. I took my camera out and scanned the building tops. I waited for about a minute and my patience was rewarded.

I haven’t seen mama in months. She must be wondering what happened to the “Wachovia” building which now reads “Wells Fargo” 🙂

She stayed aloft for a good while, riding the air currents. She then flew off towards a building under construction, stayed for a few seconds then flew off.

Happy to see ya, mama! I wonder how the younglings would know when to migrate for the winter. Maybe mama’s back to show the kids. Is it time to fly south yet? I bet it will be very soon.

September 26, 2011.

It’s been getting more difficult to see the hawks. It’s now rather dark at 7:00 DST and lunchtime walks yield almost zero sightings. However, the colder weather seems to have brought them out.

Here’s a rare sighting these days. Baby Face with a parent (possibly dad). I was focused on the hawk at the top of the Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) building when I saw another hawk fly out. That’s when I checked my shots and to my surprise, found 2 hawks on the building.

this one’s definitely not a juvenile. The tail is “red” so must be an adult and the fact that they didn’t chase each other means they must know each other.

September 12, 2011

Baby Face on the flag pole by the Revenue Building

September 8, 2011

At his favorite perch, on the flag pole on the State Capitol Building.

September 1, 2011

Baby Face on top of the bus station parking lot.  As I started taking pictures, he looked at me then flew away. Definitely not as camera friendly as before!

August 31, 2011

Seems like one of the fledglings (Baby Face) has claimed the State Capitol area.  Today, Baby Face sat on the State Capitol building. He was making his usual hawk yelp.

August 29, 2011

Three hawks had a sort of a quick in-the-air reunion after which one flew south, one east and one back to the Capitol area.


17 thoughts on “Raleigh Raptors

  1. Really nice shots. Thanks for letting the general public view/read about the hawks. You are very dedicated to stay with the project all summer. It has been very hard to photograph hawks in the Ozarks. I can hear them but not see them. I have seen several crows gain up on a hawk and drive it off.

    • thanks, maureen.
      i’m going to track them, (actually, just 1 left in the city) all winter to see if they migrate south or not.
      Hopefully, in February or March of next year, they”ll be back to nest here again.

      • Talking to a local NC bird curator here who says our local Red-tailed hawks are non-migratory so they’ll be here year-round.
        It should be interesting to observe them during the winter months when food is not so easy to find.

  2. Your photography is beautiful. I am especially interested in the resourcefulness of raptors as they find nesting spots in unlikely places. Your study is a great example. I have observed a pair of Cooper’s hawks that established residence in my neighborhood and documented them at http://www.coopershawks.com. You’re welcome to take a look. I am also observing the new red-tail nest cam put up by RRP at Eaglecrest. Thank you for sharing your photography & observations.

    • betty,

      thanks. your images of those cooper hawks are nice too. I did find a few Kestrels here in downtown Raleigh and a recently fledged coopers hawk sometime in late August/early September. However, unlike the Red-tails, I never got the chance to find their nest.

  3. A friend just directed me to your Blog and I will be following with interest. I echo Betty’s comments that it is so refreshing to find a well written/documented and beautifully executed blog site. Your photography is super. I am excited to see what you catch in your lens this spring:)

  4. Does your website have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but, I’d like to send you an e-mail. I’ve got some creative ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.

  5. Absolutly stunning photography! It was an honor to have met you this morning. It is amazing watching these birds daily, working across the street from their nest is a treat.

  6. Pingback: Red-tailed Hawks and other lovers | Wild West

  7. Wednesday, June 6th…I am Dick Ellis, Marshal of the Court of Appeals. We found an injured hawk in our back alley Monday morning and called the Raleigh Animal Control. The officer came and scooped him right up and into a cage. I understand Brian O’Shea is out of town this week and suppose to get all details and write a note here when he returns. The bird appeared to have an injured leg.
    Yesterday I was sitting in court and out of our giant windows I saw the following during the morning court case. About 10-AM I observed a Hawk fly to the top of our building (Court of Appeals, #1 West Morgan Street) from the direction of the Supreme Court to the south of us. He had a rat in his claws and I could see the tail hanging down. He was follow by a smaller Hawk and appeared to land on the top of our building. Later I looked out of our North window and saw the two of them sitting on the crown of the Capitol.

    • Dick,
      thanks for calling Raleigh Animal Control. That probably saved Nod’s life. From what I’ve gathered, he hadn’t eaten in a while and was close to starving.
      It’s good to know that he’s in good hands now and we hope that he will be released back here in Downtown Raleigh.

  8. Hey Jordan,
    It was good to meet you yesterday near the nest. I returned today, Sunday, to find the first young one has fledged! He has flown to the top of the Bar assoc. building.

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