Tuesday, August 03, 2010
The more seasons change...
Because Dog and I are now taking our walks around dawn, what I see on the walk is different than I saw when our walks were after sunrise. The birds I see now are mostly crows, with the odd barn swallow or bluebird thrown in for variety. This morning, the crows were harassing the sharp-shinned hawk that I saw a catbird harassing last evening.
Raptors have a tough life as it is without near-constant harassment by one species or another. I’ve read that nearly 80% of fledglings die in the first year when their hunting skills are still poor. And with red-tailed hawks their success rate for killing their prey apparently is just a single success out of an average of 20 attempts. Easier, I think, to be a species whose food is plentiful, even if that makes you are a prey species.
And with that raptor note comes a reminder (or an announcement, depending on your point of view). The fall hawkwatching season is now open. The first three hawkwatches counted for at least a few hours this past Sunday, though only Waggoner’s Gap near Carlisle is full-time this early in the season. The first days of migration season are virtually never auspicious ones and this year is no exception. Still, the season has begun!