A Busy Season for Birds

Red-shouldered hawk dining on a rat

Not exactly on the Explore the Wild/Catch the Wind Loop but close by, a Red-shouldered Hawk on its first day (hour) off the nest was photographed just before it gulped down the last bits of a rat brought to it by one of its parents. The hawk’s nest is at Northgate Park, a few seconds, via air, from the Museum. There were four young in the nest. And, while the nest is not on the Museum’s property, you can be sure that these hawks will pay us visits.

Conspicuously absent from the Wetlands since the third week in April is the Belted Kingfisher. Gone from the Wetlands last year from the third week in March till the last week in April, this year’s absence is a month later (see Belted Kingfisher, Explore the Wild Journal, March 16-31, 2009).

Northern cardinal

Most of the birds of Explore the Wild and Catch the Wind are busy with parental duties and many recently fledged birds can be seen around the loop (Northern Cardinal image here – note the dark bill). There is usually much noise and commotion involved when the young are begging for food so keep your eyes and ears open.

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