Saturday, May 2, 2015

Broad-winged Hawk

John Holden and I discovered this small hawk in Rice County last Wednesday. The bird is perched on one leg. The odd-looking, yellow projection sticking out of the hawk’s belly is part of the bird’s right leg. I don’t think the leg is broken. Rather what you see is one of the toes, with the claw either missing or folded back in under the belly feathers.  Hawks and other birds often perch on one foot. See, for example, a photo of a Red-tailed Hawk that I posted in 2011. I am planning a future post on this behavior in the near future.

Broad-winged Hawks are common, albeit secretive, breeders across southeastern Canada and most of the eastern United States. They are, however, often abundant during migration, when flocks of hundreds can be seen as they make their way north in the spring or south in the fall. They winter from southern Mexico south into northern South America, even as far as Peru and Bolivia. Curiously a few also winter in southern-most Florida.

No comments:

Post a Comment