Friday, March 27, 2009

Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk

Straight after work yesterday morning, I hiked over to Buena Vista, Gabriel Dumont & finally ended up at Diefenbaker Park.

Here is my list of findings ;

Common Redpoll - 10 at Gabriel Dumont
Bohemian Waxwing - heard not seen
Downy Woodpecker - A courting pair at Gabriel Dumont
Hairy Woodpecker - 1 heard across the river at the san site
Northern Flicker - 1 heard in Buena Vista Park
Common Raven - A very vocal pair, one of which was carrying a huge stick , presumably for its nest somewhere in the city.
American Crow - 20- the biggest flock I've seen this year.
Blue Jay - 5 at Gabe Dumont, and another 5 on 3rd St.
Black-billed Magpie - 5 at Gabriel Dumont
American Robin - 2 heard singing across the river near Holiday Park.
Red-breasted Nuthatch - 3
Black-capped Chickadee - 8
Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk - 1 soaring over Gabriel Dumont - new for the year and new for my park list.
White-winged Crossbill - 2 at Buena Vista , gleaning pine seeds.
House Finch - 5
House Sparrow - 60+
Rock Dove - 5
Common Goldeneye - 2
Mallard - 6
Canada Goose - 15

I also managed to call in a Red Fox at Diefenbaker Park by imitating the distress call of a Cottontail Rabbit while in some thicker woods at the southern end. I was hoping something would show up, but really wasn't expecting it.
He came bounding out of nowhere , then as soon as he saw me, he bolted off in the same direction he came from. Very neat, and the first Fox I've seen this year.
There is also an active skunk den in this park. I didn't find the culprit of the smell, but I know he's in there as there were fresh tracks. There were also many Snowshoe Hare tracks around.

Red-tailed Hawk ( Harlan's Race )

I initially though this handsome raptor was a Rough-legged Hawk, and hastily mis-identified it without consulting my guides. I should know better by now..
Thanks to a friend of mine Zoe, who alerted me by email, I was able to put two and two together!
This could very well be the same individual I found close to home on Christmas Eve last year, which funnily enough I identified as a Harlan's straight away!
Although similar to a Rough-legged Hawk at first glance , Harlan's lack the dark tail band and have a mottled/speckled pattern on the breast rather than a banded pattern :



10 comments:

Rocky M said...

Beautiful in flight shots of this handsome predator Nick ! Sure had me fooled !

Kelly said...

...I really like the coloring in this hawk. Beautiful.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Gorgeous pictures of this hawk.
Blessings,Ruth

Philip said...

WoW! Nick some stunning In-Flight Shots very cool :))

Mike - Fenphotography said...

Great pics as always Nick.

Nick S said...

Thanks for looking guys and for the kind words.

holdingmoments said...

Great shots Nick, and an impressive list.

Tina said...

Nick, Absolutely gorgeous pictures of that hawk! Such a sight!! Wow!! Can you tell I'm really impressed!! Such a wing span!! :)
You really have quite a list of birds that you heard and sighted..and phishing a fox..sounds pretty cool!

Stacey Huston said...

just stunning.. what beautiful color on that tail..! and great job with the identification as well..

Nick S said...

Thanks everyone :-)