Friday, March 12, 2010

Mystery Raptor

The unidentified bird of prey I wrote about on Wednesday (Surprising Hawk Poop) hung around the back yard throughout that rainy day. It seemed to be lost or forlorn or indecisive about what to do in the rain. It stayed near the ground, moving around to all the low perches in the yard---the arbors, the trellises, the benches, the birdbaths, the tomato stakes---even on the ground, where it behaved like a giant robin digging for worms.

Quite comical to watch, actually, because it seemed tentative and shy---not at all like I would have expected a hawk to behave, if it was hawk. It took careful steps on the rain-soaked ground, as if not fond of getting its toes wet, but needing to endure the discomfort to get the worm. Remembering the ribbon of poop I observed earlier in the day, I wonder if it was a sick bird.

Rain fell on and off all day, sometimes heavy rain. I imagine there were many worms on the surface, but since when do hawks eat worms? I thought they enjoyed a more gourmet diet, like birds, chipmunks, etc. And I would have expected it to take shelter from the rain, like everyone else did. The songbirds were nearly silent all day. Was that because of the rain or because there was a hawk in their house?

I got a few photos from a distance---poor photos, due to the rain and the ultimate zoom setting---but maybe they are enough for someone out there to be able to identify this lost bird of prey. Anyone? Click on the photos to enlarge them. dkm


Anonymous said...

Hi Deb, is it a Krider’s red-tailed hawk?

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dkm said...

You've got me curious. What assignment? What course? Glad if it helped.

dkm said...

I looked up Krider's red-tail. Could be that---or possibly "pale Florida form" of Red-shouldered hawk?

Haven't seen it again---not since it stopped raining.

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