SE Colorado Birding

Birding and discussion: A conservation-oriented birding blog that emphasizes low-impact birding and sustainable birding practices together with the enjoyment of birds. Southeast Colorado offers a diversity of habitats which provide premiere birding opportunities. Save Sabal Palm

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ferruginous Hawks near Canon City

In addition to the migrating Great Egrets and White-throated Swifts, I was surprised to find a Ferruginous Hawk perched in an agricultural field near Canon City. Ferruginous Hawks are quite uncommon here as there is little grassland habitat. The field the bird had been perched in is an alfalfa hay field that had recently been cut, so there may have been mice or other critters that were easy pickings for this hawk.

As I was watching the Ferruginous I heard the call of a Red-tailed Hawk. Apparently the Ferruginous did also as it took off into the air, only to be met by not one but two Red-tailed Hawks that appeared unhappy with this interloper. Presumably the Ferruginous is migrating through and the Red-tails are permanent residents that did not want another hawk in their territory. As I watched, one of the Red-tails dove at the Ferruginous and scored a hit as the Ferrugious was thrown to one side. As these 3 hawks continued to position and reposition themselves, I saw another Ferruginous Hawk flying at a much higher altitude but staying near the other hawks. Were there 2 Ferruginous Hawks migrating together? After a short while, the first Ferruginous left the area and so did the second one.

Also in the area was a solitary Cedar Waxwing (though I think I heard calls of more waxwings nearby). A few miles away I watched a Prairie Falcon buzz a pond, causing the waterfowl to flush.

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