Red Tailed Hawk Photos – Yosemite Birding

These large birds (raptor species) are quite common throughout California. Scientific name is Buteo jamaicensis. Here are my red tailed hawk photos from Yosemite National Park.

Red Tailed Hawk photos - Perched (bokeh)
Majestic Red Tailed Hawk, Turned Around

I actually came across this specimen perched on a fence near Curry Village. Though it’s not too pleasant to mention, it was eating a squirrel which was killed along the road. I’ve never known these birds to be scavengers like vultures, but I suppose hungry animals will do what they have too.

In any case, he was frightened away from the roadkill when I spotted him. He flew up to this perch. It was actually a great place for me to snap some photographs. Couldn’t have worked out better, really. The dark brown body of the hawk stands out nicely against the bright green tree leaves blurred in the background.

Front facing, portrait orientation with blurred background - perched on fence
Front Facing White Breast

I’ve finally learned to identify the shrill call of the red tail hawk, too. For a long time I was getting it confused with another smaller bird. I realized this hawk has a much more loud and piercing shriek.

Where To Spot The Red Tailed Hawk

If you pay attention you can most easily spot them perched on power lines and tall trees looking over vast fields. The drive through San Joaquin Valley to Yosemite is a good example of this.

Of course, this is a bird of prey, and is also sometimes referred to as a chickenhawk. Sometimes people think they see red tailed hawks circling the sky, but in fact they’re often seeing common turkey vultures instead.

Anyway, for more of the park’s natural inhabitants, visit my Yosemite wildlife series.

Looking for lodging? Check out my Yosemite Hotels page.

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About My Photos

The images on this website are available for licensing and/or sale as framed prints. If you’d like to purchase them for a blog, news article, or gift, feel free to contact me with the specifics. This way you’re supporting photographers such as me directly (as opposed to buying from a faceless stock photo corporation).

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– Nathan Allen

About Me

Photographer Nathan Allen

I’m Nathan Allen, photographer / creator of (Yosemite Photos) and international travel site I Dreamed Of This. In truth, I lived in San Francisco, New York, & Singapore…but nothing compares to life in the mountains. I share my experiences HERE.