This observation took place just before 6:00 pm on the corner of Josey Lane and Rosemeade Parkway. This is a very busy intersection. Hundreds of cars pass through every hour during peak use. There are high traffic strip mall shopping centers on the northeast, northwest, and southwest corners and busy professional buildings on northeast and southeast corners. Wooded single-family homes surround the commercial areas of the intersection. The weather was cool and cloudy.

We were eating dinner at a local restaurant on the northwest side of the intersection. Through the window I observed a large Red-tailed Hawk on the ground in a median area of the strip mall’s parking lot. The Hawk obviously had just made a kill, but the tall Asian Jasmine he was standing in made it impossible to tell what it was he had caught. I left the restaurant to get a better look, and was able to approach to within 20-25 feet/7-8m. The hawk was very comfortable with us being this close. In fact, at least one SUV passed between us and the hawk (less than 10ft/3m away) without frightening him away. My kids got a little excited about being so close, and their excitement finally caused the hawk to fly away.

When he rose into the air he carried his prey with him, and we were finally able to see that it was a common Rock Dove that he had captured (several of these pigeons roost on top of the strip mall every night). The pigeon was heavy for the hawk and he was only able to gain 4 or 5 feet (1.5 meters) of altitude. He flew through the parking lot of a 7-Eleven and across Rosemeade before landing under a tree in the parking lot of a gas station on the SW corner of the intersection. There he continued his meal.

 

County Denton
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City Carrollton
Date February 17, 2005
Time of Day Dusk
Temperature Cool (50-69°F/10-21°C)
Weather Cloudy
Habitat Commercial-Retail
Type of Behavior Hunting
Gender Uncertain
Maturity Adult
Observer Chris Jackson
Main Article Red-tailed Hawk Observation Location