Sunday, December 20, 2009

Blast from the Past

I apologize that time has gotten away from me. I haven't done any real birding to note in the past couple of weeks, so I farmed the archives. In 2006, there were a few more Rough-legged hawks and Short-eared owls that we see in this part of the state, concentrated in an area about 45 minutes from the Twin Cities. Rough-leggeds really are a great bird to watch hunt - they "hover" much like Northern harriers do. Hatched in the Arctic areas, they will use trees when they find them, but do use air currents to just glide over fields to check for mice, gophers, voles, etc. I think they are one of the prettiest hawks. The ones that we saw were primarily the lighter of the two choices.

This Rough-legged must have seen something through the ice, but was baffled as to how to get to it. Walking on ice is definitely not the first choice of mobility for these hawks. It was fun watching him/her gingerly step and then hop for several minutes.

Finally, I did get a nice flying shot of a male harrier.

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