Broadwinged Hawk!

gd_7_15bwhaFinally, a Broad-winged Hawk! I had expected to see a Broad-winged Hawk in mid to late April when they first arrive back from their winters spent in South America. They usually slip into the nesting season with little fanfare so they can easily be missed. Broad-wings don’t make very much noise, usually vocalizing only during the early part of the nesting season. When they do call out, it sounds more like a Killdeer’s whistled song, or the song of an Eastern Wood Pewee. The one I saw on July 27 was a molting adult gliding towards the north.

Great-crested Flycatchers have been very vocal lately. I most often hear them between the Lemur House and Catch the Wind. I saw a family of House Wrens out for a forage in the low shrubs along the path in that same area. I hadn’t seen or heard a House Wren in over a month. Juvenal plumaged Eastern Bluebirds and Catbirds have also been seen. This is a good time to sit by the Bird Feeders to see what fledglings show up; many parents bring their young to this “free” food source at this time of year.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird activity has picked up. Young hummers that were previously still in the nest have now fledged and are taking advantage of the several hummingbird feeders at the Bird Feeder Exhibit. The vast majority of hummers at the feeders will be young male and female hummers, all without the ruby throat of the adult males. Adult females will probably look a bit ragged this time of year due to molt, and of course, the adult males will have iridescent, red feathers on their chins and throats.

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