Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Migration



Autumn feels like a relief this year. As usual, I am more inclined to watch the season change around me than I am to document it. The trees are a bit muted this year anyway, due, I suspect, to the mercilessly dry summer.

There go the Canadian geese. Even from this distance, a hundred of them all at once make a lot of noise.




I know almost nothing about the migration of birds of prey. Three red-tailed hawks circled past just after I photographed the geese. I guess they are traveling together, but it surprises me to see them in numbers greater than two.




Perhaps they will be dropping back down to two, judging by the squawking and dive-bombing going on.

5 comments:

Karen said...

That is odd to see so many hawks together, maybe it is a family reunion? (Complete with squabbles? lol)

I know what you mean about fall being almost a relief this year; I feel the same way. Some years the struggle with the weather just wears a person down, but there's always next year, right? And once the garden is covered in snow, all the undone stuff looks finished, which is one consolation for living in the Snow Belt.

Alan said...

I find it odd, sometimes, that I hear the geese moving south and it doesn't spure more panic in my heart. I know winter is coming and I know I'm not prepared. I should be afraid, or at least working like a crazy man trying to get prepared. But, I know that if I don't make it I can buy $1000 worth of fuel oil and live comfortably. I know that Walmart will have food, so I can just stop after work and get it. Except, our Walmart (the only store in town...) only has about 2 days worth of food, and oil prices, already high, have started up again, and my job's not that secure, and... Migration should spark more feeling!

Diana said...

I've been thinking about the hawks for a few days now and I'm finally ready to post.

I don't think this is a territorial fight. Red Tail Hawks are just about ready to migrate off their territories for the winter. It's unlikely they would put effort into keeping intruders out now.

I think it is, instead, a pair bonding exercise. The territory owning male and female are reminding each other that this is a good territory, they are good at raising offspring together and that when migration reverses in the spring they will come back and be together again on this territory.

Migrating birds do not always migrate in pairs, in many species the males and females migrate at slightly different times and to slightly different places. In species like Red Tail Hawks when they may mate with the same individual for multiple years, they might not see each other all winter.

The third bird could very easily be a this-year offspring. It won't be welcomed back next year.

that is my (educated) guess.

Michelle said...

Wow Diana, thanks for the info!

Pam J. said...

Have you read the book "Red Tails in Love"? You might enjoy it. Nonfiction, about a pair of red-tailed hawks who lived on 5th Avenue in NYC overlooking Central Park and the humans who fell in love with them.