For most people (birders and non-birders alike) Red-tailed Hawks are a common sighting. Even if they aren’t referred to by name, the presence of a large, often semi-tame raptor is thrilling. And while we are far away from being experts on the behaviors of birds of prey, we learned long ago an important fact.
When approaching a raptor that is uninterested in flying, do not stand directly behind the bird. While this may seem like a sneaky way to get a better look at the bird, this is a dangerous spot to be if the bird ruffles his feathers and fires.