Noises carry in strange ways in the Okefenokee Swamp. A silent solitude lies upon the blackwaters as one paddles through the refuge. But the dead stillness is suddenly broken by the scream of a Red-shouldered Hawk. Its call seems to emanate from over your shoulder, but the echo carries ahead, to the left, and to the right. It may take a few squawks from the raptor to pinpoint its location.
For many decades, the Red-shouldered Hawk has been one of the most common raptors in the Okefenokee Swamp. In 1913, Albert Wright and Francis Harper published “A Biological Reconnaissance of Okefinokee Swamp: The Birds” in The Auk, the scientific journal of the American Ornithological Society. Of the Red-shouldered Hawk, they wrote,