Like a Hawk

Do you ever get that feeling you're being watched?

Yesterday, in the brief lull of yet another snow storm, I got that feeling.  The hairs on the back of my neck prickled to life.  I turned around, and sure enough, I was being watched like a hawk. Perched in the tree directly behind me was a puffy little guy in my neighbor's evergreen. 

ImageHe stayed put for over an hour, un-phased by the passing garbage trucks and snow plows.  He eyed up my beagles like a king surveying his kingdom.  He turned his head left and right while he posed for my pictures.  The snow came down harder, and he disappeared from sight.  When the weather cleared, he was gone.

I'm not entirely sure what breed he is, although I'm pretty certain he's a hawk.  After consulting my Birds of Illinois by DeVore, Bailey, & Kennedy and the Complete Birds of North America by National Geographic, I think my visitor was a red-shouldered hawk.

ImageI'm a novice a bird identification, though, so it's entirely possible that I've mis-ID'd him.  Nevertheless, he provided a bit of entertainment in the midst of the winter doldrums and I was happy to watch him as closely as he watched me.  Like a hawk.

For any birders out there: Is my identification correct?