Monday, July 26, 2010

Sharp shinned Hawks

Sharp shinned Hawk, Quabbin, July 26, 2010
Sharp shinned Hawk, Quabbin, July 26, 2010

Today I went into central Quabbin and came across some good stuff. I began the morning watching a pair of River Otters in a large marsh. I then came across a Ruffed Grouse walking down the road. The grouse would occasionally tuck itself down low to the ground and then get up and walk a few feet and repeat. It eventually went off into tall grass and disappeared. I was afraid there might be young in the grass between the tire tracks of the road but I found none. The best find of the day was a group of at least three Sharp-shinned Hawks together deep in the woods in a large pine grove. There were two adults and at least one juvenile. I first heard them as the juvenile bird made quite a bit of noise and then the adults started. They flew around from tree to tree and gave some good, yet fleeting looks. One of the adults made a close run at my head so I decided to give them a wide berth as I moved back. I have come across so few Sharp shinned Hawks during breeding season that this is a truly great thing to see. Oddly the hawks were almost within sight of a tree I found Northern Saw-whet Owls nesting in a couple years ago. One other great moment was watching a couple Ruby-throated Hummingbird feeding on Cardinal Flowers along a stream. The breeze picked up as the morning went on and it became quite difficult to find any birds. The amount of bird song continues to drop off but there is still alot of evidence of successful breeding this season.

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