Sunday, December 29, 2013

Some Year-End Birding

red-tailed hawk
An impromptu trip to the Dead Creek area around Addison, Vermont yesterday resulted in some good sightings of hawks.

From the time we left our house, we saw red-tailed hawks along the roadside, sitting in trees or on power lines as this one was.

We didn't see our first rough-legged hawk until we headed north out of Orwell, into the lower Champlain Valley. This one is a light morph, the more common plumage.

He was "kiting" (holding stationary in flight) while searching the field below for prey. Red-tailed hawks also "kite".

We found one snowy owl along the way in West Addison.

 The trees were still covered in ice from the recent ice storm. It didn't seem to bother this red-tailed hawk though.

red-tailed hawk

 A snow bunting posed for some pictures by the side of the road.

 Another rough-legged hawk (this one a dark morph) relieved himself before flying off. We didn't take it personally.......

 The name "Rough-legged" Hawk refers to the feathered legs. This hawk, the Ferruginous Hawk, and the Golden Eagle are the only American hawks to have legs feathered all the way to the toes.

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