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Wildlife Gardening: Any one know alot about hawks?

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Forum: Wildlife GardeningReplies: 24, Views: 231
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lavenderwolf
Abilene, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 12, 2006
2:04 PM

Post #2715334

I have always LOVED birds of prey. To my shock this summer 3 showed up in my neighborhood. I live in the middle of town. I first saw one when someone ran over a squirrel and it swooped down and snatched it up. After that I saw 3 sitting on power lines or flying by. I never got close enough to get a good look. Today I finally got a good look. It was sitting on a dead branch in a huge pecan tree next door. Our band of neighborhood thugs (blue jays) were dive bombing it. It just sat there like the blue jays didnít exist. I tried to get a pic but it was to far away. SoÖ..I have looked and looked and cant identify it. In all my life I have never seen one. It was about 2x larger than the blue jays; was grayish on top.; had a white stripe above its eyes; white spotted chest ; and a small amount of red on its back or shoulders. I know it was not a red tail hawk or a American kestrel. I thought maybe a Merlin but it was to big. I live in Abilene, TX. I have been obsessed with these birds for months. If any one could help shed the light on what they are I would be sooo grateful.
Thanks so much,
brandy
Stelco
Dewitt, MI
(Zone 5b)

September 12, 2006
3:10 PM

Post #2715547

Cooper's? Early migration or local bird.
lavenderwolf
Abilene, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 12, 2006
5:51 PM

Post #2716103

That is kinda what I was thinking but I did not think we had them in our area. I have never seen them before. I hope they stay. I love them. I just hope they are safe being in town and all.
brigidlily
Lumberton, TX
(Zone 8b)

September 12, 2006
6:45 PM

Post #2716226

What comes to mind is that they're loners -- my knowledge is limited -- so I'm wondering if you have a family group there. Are hawks territorial, like owls?
Stelco
Dewitt, MI
(Zone 5b)

September 12, 2006
7:20 PM

Post #2716294

They are scattered during breeding season in Texas. There should be more and more showing up with fall and winter coming. Most winter in the southern states. Mine start to show up when we still have snow on the ground in Michigan in the spring. They primarily eat birds, so if you have feeders up be prepared to be serving up some of your small visitors to these guys. I saw one take a Muskrat, so their diet isn't limited to birds, but they prefer them to rodents. If you have three Cooper's I'd guess that it is a family group. Cities are not the greatest place for them, but they like cities for the abundance of Pigeon and Starling. We lost three migrating Cooper's (all young) last spring to building strikes. I don't know if they were chasing prey or being chased by our Peregrines in downtown Lansing and didn't turn in time.
brigidlily
Lumberton, TX
(Zone 8b)

September 12, 2006
7:40 PM

Post #2716353

That's sad.
lavenderwolf
Abilene, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 12, 2006
7:43 PM

Post #2716365

Aww. Im sorry Stelco. I would hate to see that. I live in a area with alot of big trees and a few empty lots so maybe they will be ok. I have a "bird" garden and a pond. And I noticed since the hawks the other birds have been scarce. I have seen red tailed hawks catch birds out in the country. Its a pretty neat site. I guess some might say that is morbid. But, I love birds of prey. They are such powerful animals.
Stelco
Dewitt, MI
(Zone 5b)

September 12, 2006
8:01 PM

Post #2716408

This is the "real" Stelco. She fledged in Hamilton, Ontario in 1997 and has made her summer home here in Lansing since 98. I was involved in studying her and two males that have mated with her until this year. Raptors are my favorites, too. I'll see if I have more photos.

Mark

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Stelco
Dewitt, MI
(Zone 5b)

September 12, 2006
8:04 PM

Post #2716415

One year old Cooper's in downtown Lansing. Strange place to perch!

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Stelco
Dewitt, MI
(Zone 5b)

September 12, 2006
8:05 PM

Post #2716416

"Digiscoped" Cooper's in my yard.

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Stelco
Dewitt, MI
(Zone 5b)

September 12, 2006
8:09 PM

Post #2716425

One year old Bald Eagle that roosted in my yard - 1st try at shooting through a scope. Introduction to digiscoping.

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Stelco
Dewitt, MI
(Zone 5b)

September 12, 2006
8:13 PM

Post #2716441

Gray "morph" or color phase of an Eastern Screech Owl. "If I can't see him, he can't see me." In my Wood Duck house, mid-winter. Shrew was for dinner that night.

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Stelco
Dewitt, MI
(Zone 5b)

September 12, 2006
8:17 PM

Post #2716448

Red morph of Eastern Screech in Wood Duck house located in woodlot next to my land. Have had both color phase of these for about five years.

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brigidlily
Lumberton, TX
(Zone 8b)

September 12, 2006
8:35 PM

Post #2716500

wow. GREAT pictures. The only hawks I ever see, aside from one peregrine in my old neighborhood, are when I'm travelling and see red tails. The 'hood I'm in is so new there are just some pigeons, jays, and mockingbirds. Not enough trees nearby for the big guys.
lavenderwolf
Abilene, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 12, 2006
8:47 PM

Post #2716536

Really amazing pic. Thank you so much for sharing. I have loved birds of pray since I was 14. I found a baby owl and raised it, taught it to hunt, and set it free. My parents thought I was nuts. lol They still do.
Mark,
Do you study raptors for work, school or fun?
Brandy
Stelco
Dewitt, MI
(Zone 5b)

September 12, 2006
11:01 PM

Post #2716921

Thanks!

If I studied birds for work it probably wouldn't be fun anymore. :)

I have been toying with the idea of working with schools, science staff and kids to get a state wide Purple Martin project going. Just can't find the time right now. If you have too much fun studying birds you end up working for free (or it costs you money!).

I did this out of my pocket and that's just a little bit:
www.michiganmartins.com

Mark
lavenderwolf
Abilene, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 13, 2006
2:06 PM

Post #2718690

Thats a cool site. I am not sure if we have Purple Martins. I think thats really awsome you are trying to educate kids. I used to do the same things but with enviromental issues. I also did a horny toad watch with Texas Parks and Wildlife. There is a Monarch butterfly watch going on here right now. I am really glad I started this thread. I forgot how much I loved getting involved w/wildlife. I have been too busy being a mom I guess. Keep up the good work. We need more ppl like you!

Brandy
Stelco
Dewitt, MI
(Zone 5b)

September 13, 2006
10:50 PM

Post #2720286

Brandy,

You have TONS of Purple Martins in most of Texas. Abilene would be a great place to host Martins. A colony is not hard to start there. It is hard to start and maintain a colony in Michigan and many northern states.

Being a good mother is more important than what I do.

Mark
lavenderwolf
Abilene, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 14, 2006
1:37 AM

Post #2720800

Mark,
That was sweet to say being a good mom was important. I am going camping in 2 weeks at a lake. I will have to look for some Purple Martins. I do know we have lots of mud martins. (not sure if thats the correct name). My grandparents have had a pair come make nest on there porch for years and years. They cover undersides of bridges with nest around here. I will let you know if I see any.
Brandy
Stelco
Dewitt, MI
(Zone 5b)

September 14, 2006
3:04 AM

Post #2721006

Brandy,

Have fun on the camping trip!

I suspect that those "Mud Martins" are Barn Swallows. They are great, friendly birds, as all Swallows are.
escambiaguy
Atmore, AL
(Zone 8b)

September 16, 2006
9:04 PM

Post #2730111

I was looking out my window yesterday and was watching a squirrel when this huge bird came down and tried to catch it. The squirrel made it under some brush just in time. The bird then got up in one of my pecan trees and waited for the squirrel to come out. Since our hurricanes the squirrel population here has been low so I went outside and shooed the bird away. I still don't know what kind it was.
lavenderwolf
Abilene, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 17, 2006
12:33 AM

Post #2730707

I will send you some squirrels. lol We have WAY to many. They harass my dog and cat. I used to love them. Now they are just a pain.
magpied
Phoenix, AZ

September 30, 2006
9:35 PM

Post #2773377

lavender, I'd have to check to see if Harris' hawks are in your area as they are only in the southwest. They aren't migratory and live in family groups.

Some raptors eat primarily mammals, some eat primarily birds, some eat primarily fish... and some eat primarily insects! All raptors can't be lumped into one general category. (Not all migrate either.)

This message was edited Sep 30, 2006 2:40 PM
Stelco
Dewitt, MI
(Zone 5b)

October 1, 2006
2:06 PM

Post #2775232

Abilene is too far north and the breast color is wrong. No supercillium, either. Could have been a sharp-shinned.
lavenderwolf
Abilene, TX
(Zone 7b)

June 6, 2007
2:40 PM

Post #3582128

Just thought I would give an update. The birds are Mississippi kites and they made a nest across the ally from my house!!!!! I am soo excited. They are wonderful to watch. They are so protective of there nest.

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