Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Mild US winter makes for unusual bird sightings"



"Every bird species has a captivating story to tell, and we're certainly seeing many of them in larger numbers farther north than usual, no doubt because of this winter's record-breaking mild conditions," said John Fitzpatrick, executive director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Some of the unusual sightings included early migrating sandhill cranes and fish-eating belted kingfishers in northern areas that normally would be frozen over.
This winter was the fourth-warmest winter on record for the 48 contiguous states."  Read more here.

More Harlan's Hawk photos

Though mostly coal black a few specks of whitish feathering was visible near the throat area of the bird. I did not seen any white on it's face or rufous in the tail but my view of it perched was brief and distant. The shyness of this bird was incredible not only because of how far I was from it but the fact I remained in my car to reduce disturbance. SeEtta

Harlan's Hawk moving through Canon City,CO

As I spotted this Harlan's Hawk this mid-day in Canon City perched in a cottonwood adjacent to the Arkansas River. Just as soon as I got my car in position and put my camera with long lens on it, it appeared took off (I was across the river a good 150 feet, but maybe responding to a long object pointed at it as it may have experienced if someone shot a rifle at it). I got a quick photo of it perched (and looking towards me) then taking off as shown here. It appears to be a dark morph Harlan's, mostly blackish with white or pale gray rectrices and wide blackish terminal band on tail. More photos to follow. SeEtta