I live in a small house on the northern edge of the suburbia associated with Richmond, Virginia. My house is situated on a small lot right next to an interstate highway. When you walk out of my backyard, you are in a thin strip of trees next to the interstate. The sounds of cars and trucks whizzing and thumping past is constant (you get used to it :-).
My nearness to such a significant bit of humanity's infrastructure has set my expectations fairly low when it comes to the number of, and variety of, bird species that I might see from my backyard. A visit from a hawk is always a pleasant surprise.
A few weeks back (the first Sunday in March) I was in my house when I noticed the call of a Red-shouldered Hawk. I realized that it was fairly close, so I grabbed my camera and crept out onto the deck behind my house to see if I could catch a photo or two. I immediately located the hawk, perched in a tree in my neighbor's yard. He saw me too, and took flight before I could even raise my camera.
Instead of soaring away and leaving me a frustrated photographer, however, he circled a few times, and then came back to roost in the same tree. How lucky for me! I snapped a bunch of photos before he took flight once more. The results are below. Here are three photos of a Red-shouldered Hawk: one facing away, one facing towards and one in flight.