Monday, April 5, 2010

They're not goshawks but hey

A few months ago I noted here that I'd hoped that a more concerted effort at hawkwatching in the dunes could net me my county lifer goshawk. So far it hasn't happened. The birds tend to follow the ridgelines more closely in the fall, but a few birds have gone by fairly closely.

This Cooper's is actually probably a local bird as it was heading south.
I'm not entirely sure of the age of this bird. Obviously the primaries are browner and a different feather generation than the secondaries. What I'm not sure of is whether those feathers were brown making this a second cycle bird, or if those are the faded gray-blue of an adult. The eye is pretty solidly red though, so this may be an adult.

Here's a crappy picture of a distant first cycle redtail; clearly hawks don't do much primary moult this time of year...

Red-shouldered's are one of the prettier hawks. It'd be nice to improve on this shot...

1 comment:

Andy said...

Hey Matt...just FYI, I used to watch hawks along the shoreline in Muskegon and my father and Brian Johnson have both done a lot of hawkwatching up there over the last few decades. They haven't gotten huge numbers for Goshawks, but the ones they do see almost exclusively are seen between the hawkwatch site (a few hundred yards from the shore) and shore, and generally low. They are generally lucky gets that could be very easily missed. As you know, they just chug along and don't waste time during migration.

I used to think that if you really wanted to see Goshawks during migration in Muskegon the best place would be on the beach at the Muskegon Lake channel, or maybe on the top of the very first dune, and keep your eyes on the beach. Maybe the same would apply where you are further south.