Peregrine Falcons are the fastest birds in the world…they have been clocked at 175 mph! This Peregrine Falcon has been hanging out on the MBL Lille Building in Woods Hole. Tall buildings are perfect artificial cliff faces for Falcons to dive from, so they often set up shop on these high ledges. In serendipitous fashion, this building is right across the street from a statue dedicated to Rachel Carson, the woman responsible for helping to ban DDT…the pesticide which put Peregrine Falcon’s on the endangered species list. Perhaps this Falcon wishes to give thanks to Carson for saving its life! Maybe it wants to learn some science at the MBL…or maybe this is just an awesome spot from which to hunt!
This immature Red-tailed Hawk completely thrashed an unsuspecting Mourning Dove in my front yard. I was watching the birds forage for fallen feeder seeds when BAM!…out of nowhere the stealthy Hawk swooped in an flattened the Dove under its talons. I have seen this same scene play out before, but this was only a few feet away, so I had a front row seat for the action. The Hawk devoured its meal in just a few bites…it swallowed half the bird in one gulp, bones and all! Here is a quick video I took of this awesome raptor feasting on the Dove…
I watched this first-year Sharp-Shinned Hawk get harassed by a pack of Blue Jays…they were relentlessly putting pressure on the little hawk to leave the area, but it held its ground. Sharp-shinned Hawks are very similar to and hard to distinguish from Cooper’s Hawks, but the shorter squared-off tail and broad brown chest markings point to a Sharpie and not a Cooper’s.
Migration season is the best time to catch a glimpse of a Broad-winged Hawk. They have been known to form massive swarms in certain areas during their migration, but here where I live, just seeing one is pretty cool. I’ve seen a handful soaring overhead recently with telltale black-and-white striped tails, but this forest hunter perched on a low limb briefly for me and posed for a quick photo.
I don’t see Red-shouldered Hawks very often…maybe a few times a year…it is much more common to see the familiar Red-tailed Hawk. Yesterday, I was lucky to see a pair of Red-shouldered hawks pass by overhead, and I was able to get some good snaps of one as it came closer. Not a lifer, but definitely a bird I had not taken decent photos of until yesterday! 🙂
By now, Snowy Owls are front page news in the Northeast…I’ve seen half-a-dozen myself at this point, but this is the first one I have seen in Falmouth. It has been residing in the Salt Pond area of Surf Drive and it has made a couple bold appearances near the road…I snapped this photo from my car…
It could be seen as a bad sign that this bird has grown accustomed to cars, joggers and cyclists passing by, but it is also a good sign to see the bird successfully adapting to its new surroundings. Experts have suggested that this snowy owl phenomenon is a result of a population boom from last year which forced many snowies south in search of wintering territory. Only time will tell how this phenomenon will affect the long-term presence of these magical birds.