August 7, 2011
Red-tail Hawks on my block!
So, the high humidity has kept me closer to home these days. And with the awful cat slaughter at one of my more frequent areas to visit (see blog). I've ventured into other areas with less people traffic I know of very close to home. No public pools here for the masses to cool themselves with. There is one small playground with some swings, jungle gym and a slide that goes quite un-noticed. A few trails go off towards the Humber River and occasionally I see dog walkers but not many.
I guess it's not a very desirable area to most with the hydro field and north travel is blocked by a rail line which is, of course, fenced off. And lucky for me as it's got a nice selection of birds in the area. An abundance of berry producing shrubs make it a good meal spot for a number of Cedar Waxwings and American Robins. Black-capped Chickadees, Northern Cardinals, Blue Jays, American Goldfinches and Eastern Kingbirds all reside in this area. I've even seen Grey Catbirds too! One can watch Chimney Swifts, Tree, Cliff and Barn Swallows constantly fly over as well.
A quite young Catbird I found 2 weeks ago
There are a wide variety of insects in the area like this 12 Spotted Skimmer Dragonfly
And this Bee Fly is pretty awesome too!
But the coolest thing to see and can't help but distinctly hear the screech of are a pair of Red-tail Hawks and their young'un. Big beautiful birds soaring the skies, overlooking the fields below and often sitting atop trees and hydro towers. I've seen them every visit now for a couple weeks. And most of the time they are out of reach of my camera lens but still a sight to see with my own eyes. Please enjoy a few cropped shots I am posting here of this beautiful pair before I return with some words...
I am always looking to the sky for my first sightings of these guys
And from this, I usually find a place or two they are landing in
Here is the second one. Quick looks leave me guessing who is the mother, father or baby.
They sure talk to each other a lot.
And not too often do I get to witness something like this...
And seconds later this which has me thinking I was quite excited to witness and probably shaking as I try to capture the best in flight shot ever and did not succeed (but it was still amazing to watch).
I know without a doubt that the adult pair were visiting my backyard last winter and enjoying the occasional Pigeon meal. I was fortunate to come home from work one afternoon to find them right after a fresh kill and watched them for over half an hour with their meal. Between my house and where I see this pair now is much to close to have a second pair.
One of them outside my kitchen window with a Pigeon wing he tore off and flew to the tree branch with. The other stayed on the ground with the rest of the carcass.
Watching this pair has me reassuring myself on my decision that if Canada were to have a national bird... the Red-tail Hawk must be it. I blogged about that last year. Do you agree?
I can spend lengthy amounts of time watching these birds just going about their day over this park. It's so easy to forget the outside world when in the presence of them despite the sounds of cars down the road and planes overhead. People just don't exist to me in this moment. I hope to have some more pics and maybe a Hawk adventure to share in the coming weeks.