Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Raptors

It's been a while since I've posted anything about "normal" birding and sightings. But, today, I'll lean a little that way. ;)

It's springtime. Well, at least, in the calendar sense it is. This time of year, in the upper midwest, you tend to see lots of raptors pairing up. Eagles, Hawks (especially Red-tailed, there's always two Red-tailed Hawks this time of year) and falcons like this pair of American Kestrels.  I was out birding down near Spring Green, WI last week and photographed this pair sitting on a high power line. The male is on the left, told by his sharper, brighter colors, bluish wings and rusty red back.  The female is duller and browner.

Many early spring migrants are in now. Red-winged Blackbirds, American Robins, Fox Sparrows, tons of waterfowl including 5 species of Geese, 3 species of Swans, and up to 18 species of ducks.   I saw 13 species yesterday evening at one stop.

It's always interesting where you find migrant ducks. Many times, you find them in unexpected locations.  Seeing a Ruddy Duck trying to dive in a puddle in the middle of a farm field is a pretty amusing sight.  

Keep your eyes out when out birding. The weather is beginning to warm and the birds are starting to fly. Anything could show up!

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