Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Trapping with Sue

On Tuesday October 2nd I went out on my first "Hawk Stalking" expedition of the year. I invited Sue along for the aventure.  Sue is an avid bird watcher from La Crosse.  We had a pretty good day . . . though it could have been better.
Within the first few minutes of our morning we brought this lovely fellow to the trap.  From the view of the tree he was in, and the very early light, I thought he might have been a "Juvie" (juvenile hawk), as we only trap juveniles.  Surprisingly, he came to our trap . . . which most self-respecting adult hawks just don't do.  However he did give us a chance to check out his lovely colors.
He still maintains the stripes in his tail, which are prominent in juvenile birds, however he clearly has the red tail.  Also, his eyes were fairly dark, so he is several years old.  He was also small!  Many of his tail feathers are just finishing up growing in, so he actually may even be a breeding male.  The moult is delayed in birds that breed.
We took his picture, and then I let Sue release him.  We drove around for several more hours, spotting many birds, and almost bringing to the trap at least two others . . . but at the end of the adventure there were no juvenile birds to bring home.  I did see a very large, what appeared to be a Krider's Moph near my home.  She was terribly near the trap yesterday, when a large noisy piece of farm equipment went by and spooked her.  Later in the evening I saw her again in the same area.  I returned Wednesday morning at dawn, not to see her, but to see a pair of birds in a tree overlooking the valley.  Probably the residents.  I drove by again later, this time to see her.  I laid the trap, and was in almost the perfect setup to catch her, but as she flew over eyeing my rat, I heard a territorial scream, and saw another hawk fly in to chase her.  Damn!!  Missed her again!!  Too bad!!  I really would like to check that bird out.  I'll have to watch and see if she hangs around for awhile.

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