Saturday, March 24, 2012

Looking for Wintering Hawks in Addison county Vt

 I have been looking for wintering hawks for a few years now and it is still
as much fun as it was that first winter. This winter was no different even with a lack of snow.  The numbers of hawks and variety seemed  fairly normal. I had Kestrels, Red-tailed hawks and Rough-legged hawks all in the usual places for the most part. Northern Harriers were here all winter, mostly males of the gray ghost variety and a couple of juveniles. A few Coopers and Sharp-shins plus some Peregrine Falcons,  plenty of Bald Eagles and whats not to like about winter hawk watching.  I found the ratio of dark morph  to light morph  Rough-legged hawks interesting , Normally on any given winter day you might see 1 or 2 dark morphs, 1 of the very light morph and 6 or so normal light morph rough legs. But this year I had  3 to 4 dark morphs and 6 to 9 light morph rough-legs. I only found one very light morph all winter.(see bellow)  I found this Rough-legged hawk to be very interesting because of the absents of the dark tail band like on the rough-legged bellow it, both are light morphs. It looks as if this light morph is a very lightly marked type Rough-legged hawk which I think is somewhat unusual marking for these hawks. I just found out that this bird could be a juvinale, to see page 329 (lower left image) in Raptors of Eastern North America by Brian K Wheeler 

This dark morph Rough-legged hawk (above) was found on Lapham Bay road Shoreham Vt.  Lapham Bay road has always had something interesting going on and this season was no different, this Red Fox cross the road just ahead of me and stopped to check us out. My little red dog saw the fox and wanted to go for a run.  Thank god the windows were up!


Good birding.

Pete

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Beautiful pictures as always. I'm really glad to see you start Blogging again.