|Red-tailed Hawk eating its kill in a recently plowed ag field.|
Thursday, February 3, 2011
This is the coldest weather I have ever experienced in the Valley - morning temps in Mesa were 24 degrees. My bird bath was frozen solid! So today and yesterday I birded from within the comfy confines of my home and my car. I've discovered that cold birds are hungry birds, so I went out looking for raptors. Right off the bat, I saw my first ever adult Bald Eagle soaring by while on the 202 freeway. We cruised around through the ag fields southeast of Scottsdale Community College and within minutes spotted a Red-tailed Hawk tearing apart its prey in a recently plowed field. An American Kestrel swooped down and whizzed by our heads, possibly ticked off that we were annoying his hunting partner. Later we came upon a large (approx. 24" tall) mostly grey and white hawk perched mid-level in a cottonwood tree. Someone help me out here - I'm guessing a female Northern Harrier or a Ferruginous Hawk? I'm probably way off, so feel free to correct me. Unfortunately I didn't get a good view of the tail or rump patch.
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