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Welcome to my blog world. This is a photo blog, poetry and short story blog about my life on Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada. I take photos of the birds and scenery I find. I hope you enjoy your time here and please come back again. PHOTOS WILL ENLARGE IF CLICKED. The photos are slide show enabled if you click on them. If you click on the top lighthouse photo it always takes you to the most recent summary list of my postings. I am also at my Facebook Page Island Rambles or Islandrambles at YouTube.


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Monday, February 27, 2017

Red-Tailed Hawk and Duck

We have a lot of Red-tailed hawks here.  There is one we know quite well, as he has only one eye.

We call him eyegone or oneeye. The reference books say that the red-tails eat small mammals and rodents but this one has his one eye on ducks. They can take prey as large as 5 pounds. They look big but the weight of the female can be just around 3 pounds. (Females are bigger than the males.)

The Red-tailed hawks have that raspy scream that you can hear on the t.v. a lot as the sound effects people seem to love to put that on every time you see a bird flying in circles high up. We also think perhaps we have had the Harlan's hawk here sometimes and that is just a dark form of the Red-tailed hawk. There are fourteen subspecies of Red-tails.

The oldest Red-tailed hawk was a banded and was found to be over 30 years old. Average life span is around twenty-one years.   Mated pairs stay together usually for life. The first hawk of this kind was found in Jamaica. These hawks are often used for falconry.

Video below at very end is of Red-tailed Hawk with a duck. So don't watch it if you are squeamish. I stopped video before anything and we quickly left so he could finish by himself in private. He only  has one eye but is still surviving. Of course I love ducks so I feel very sad for the duck.  Sometimes it is hard to be part of, or to witness wildlife.  It is a struggle for me to be hardened or uncaring about the struggle to live and I could not watch the ending so did not video.   There probably was more video to follow but I could not take it.
I can't say that I completely accept watching something like that without any emotion.  For me I have to learn when to photo something and when not to photo something in the wild as it will haunt me and I keep replaying it in my mind.  I used to watch the eagle cams and I think this was when I realized how harsh life can be in the wild.  I also videoed the owls we had nesting at a nearby building years ago and could not look at the videos for years as I don't think they lived.  I was the child that fainted at the movie Bambi!

Thank you to these meme hosts for allowing bloggers to share their story.  Click on these links to find great blogs and photos. This post is for these wonderful bloggers:

The Bird D'Pot Sunday Thank you to Hootin' Anni
Nature Notes Tuesday Thank you to Ramblingwoods
Our World Tuesday  Thank you to the Our World Team
Wild Bird Wednesday Thank you to Stewart
ABC Wednesday   Thank you to Mrs. Nesbitt and the Team

Video here:


  1. One eye and it still hunts well. Wow, I am afraid to look at the video as I have seen a red-tail kill a mallard and a wood duck here and it is upsetting. I know they have to eat too... Wonderful photos... (I am having my next eye done Wed. The eye I had done 2 weeks ago is still a bit blurry but not cloudy which is great...)... Michelle

    1. Thanks so much Michelle. As you know I am worried about your eyes! Thanks for keeping me informed. Hope all goes well for you and will be thinking of you on Wednesday. It takes a while for the blurring to go away and different glasses help too, but you have to wait to get them.

  2. Absolutely amazing Nora. WOW And I love the fact oneeye is a survivor!

    Also, I very much enjoye reading your narrative. I did not realize so many different subspecies existed.

    Thanks so much for sharing this GREATblig with us at I'd rather b birdin.

  3. Wonderful photography of your 'one eyed' hawk ~ very special ~ thanks,

    Wishing you a special week ~ ^_^

  4. The Red-tailed Hawks are very common around here as well. You got great shots of the action.

  5. Awesome that he was able to adapt with his one eye and keep hunting.

  6. Hello, I am glad one-eye hawk is doing well and is finding food. I feel sorry for the duck too. Great photos. Enjoy your day and the week ahead.

  7. Hi Nora, We had a Cooper's Hawk on our deck not long ago. He had captured a CHIPMUNK......I wasn't upset about that since we have WAY too many Chipmunks around here... BUT--a duck???? I couldn't watch the video --but I know that it's just nature.... Still upsetting.


  8. Nora, I learned so much here. I did not know about all the subspecies of red tailed hawks. It is amazing to me that you can recognize this guy, even with him having just one eye. You still have to get a close up look at him and it is wonderful that you can do that. I will watch your video tomorrow, because too close to bedtime right now. You understand. Usually I do say that the natural order of things does not upset me too much and raptors do need to eat too. What upsets me more is feral cats and even people's pet ones that they allow to stalk birds. That's upsetting the balance of nature.

  9. These birds are lovely to see. Thanks for the information as well as lovely photos.

  10. Hello Nora, thanks for all the work you put into this post - great photos and there was a lot I didn't know! Cheers :D)

  11. Fabulous hawk shots.

  12. Hmmm how wonderful that you could come that close... And yes they to have a difficult life and struggle to survive with their deminishing habitats

    Have a nice ABC-day / -week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)

  13. A nice chubby duck should help it survive, must be difficult with one eye. Nature is red in tooth and claw.

  14. Raptors are so beautiful!

  15. Even with one eye he (?) seems to be doing OK. Great set of pictures - although the duck may not agree.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  16. Death is such a part of life. I think of the First Nations spirituality. They hunt, and give thanks to their prey. Something has to die, in order for another species to live. It's always the way.
    I was terribly squeamish after my parents died. I'm getting over that, however.
    Our deer, with the broken leg, has managed since September. I was convinced she would be taken. The coyotes cannot take a healthy deer. As I near my end of life,having seen so many hospice clients, I am much more complacent.

  17. I don't like to see it either and can't watch when the prey is alive. I know it's survival of the fittest, but it's still hard to see. I was the little girl that cried 60 years ago when Bambi's mother died.


Hi! Thanks so much for visiting my blog on Vancouver Island Nature and Birds. I love to take photos of places we go to on Vancouver Island and the birds and animals we see. I love also to get comments so please leave a note for me. Cheers and thanks again. Nora
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