There was an amazing Red-tailed Hawk show this past week complete with a leucistic and two dark morphs! Watching them made me realize how long individual Red-tailed Hawk can stick around throughout the day. It was interesting to see so many kettle far out, then break up and fly past the hawk deck, then come back over our heads and start a new kettle. Mixed in the Red-tailed Hawk were a few Rough-legged Hawk and a Red-shoulder Hawk or two. That day was the first really good buteo push!

Since then, there have been several days with good numbers of raptors (at least for now!), but not every day can be exciting. Those slow days, can get pretty tiring and, though I hate to say it, boring! After staring at an empty sky for several hours, you begin finding things to do to entertain yourself. If I have visitors, this isn’t a problem! It’s good to have people to talk to and chat about birds even when you aren’t seeing any!

Without visitors, I tend to hum to myself,  generally making odd noises, or even making up stories in my head. It’s during these times when wildlife can surprise you. One, in particular, is a squirrel who I believe has taken up residence in the jack pine behind the hawk shack. On at least three occasions now, this squirrel has run across the deck, stopped by the door of the hawk shack, then skittered up the side! Needless to say, when I suddenly hear a loud scrabbling noise right over my head or right behind me, I get a little freaked out! Of course, once I’ve discovered the source of the sound, it makes me smile and watch as my friend jumps into the branches. A few times, the squirrel has even poked its nose inside the door to the shack, each time on one of those slow days when tired of standing, I sit inside looking out the windows for birds. I don’t look forward to seeing my four-legged friend since that means a dreary day of bird watching, but it is nice when migration slows for a day to know that I will see something up at the hawk deck, even if it doesn’t have wings!

Krista B.
Spring 2019 Hawk Counter