Friday, April 29, 2011

A Hawk Hour

Yesterday, Lunch. A strong wind was blowing in a front, and for a bit of shelter I decided to walk , the section of Big Dry Creek trail immediately west of Wadsworth Blvd. Despite the drawbacks of wind, there is a benefit, hawks can easily hang motionless in the air for photographs. A group of three Swainson's Hawks did just that, putting on a show for me and allowing me my first photographs of the season.

A young Red-tailed Hawk was not happy about the display, and voiced its displeasure from a perch in the cottonwoods along the creek. All it was trying to do was mind its own business and figure out what would make suitable prey. This Great Blue Heron was too big, but it did make an unsuccessful pass at a Mallard after the Swainson's had departed.

Returning to a different perch bought some new trouble though. A pair of American Kestrels decided that they didn't like the Red-tail on their turf, so a session of dive bombing commenced. I couldn't capture them, but the Red-tail's reaction tells the story.

Check out that lower left leg though, this bird has been banded! I wasn't able to see any markings on my images, but may see if the bird sticks around for another shot.

The front brought cold and varying amounts of snow to the front range overnight, and clear skies with colder, stronger wind this morning. More on that in later posts, but I will be ready for an out of state (and hopefully much warmer) trip starting the middle of this week. Stay tuned....

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