Sunday, September 7, 2014

Red-tailed Hawk

After all our years in South Dakota, Erika and I are not used to having prairie dogs considered to be rare or endangered. Often we heard anti-environmentalists complain that these rodents’ burrows injure  livestock and destroy rangeland. A popular sport involved parking along highways and shooting prairie dogs. Never mind that most research indicates that rangeland with prairie dogs is more productive than without the rodents. (See my post on prairie dogs and Burrowing Owls.)

Black-tailed Prairie Dogs have disappeared from many parts of their former range. They are reintroduced in the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in central New Mexico. Success of this program is by no means assured. This second-year Red-tailed Hawk is feeding upon what appears to be a prairie dog not far from the new colony near the refuge tour loop entrance.

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