Sunrise 10: Ault Park (Overcast, Juvenile Red Tailed Hawk)
After all the excitement from Saturday’s sunrise, I took it easy today. The weather this morning made the decision even easier. The morning was dry and overcast. It was calm and gray, and the birds and squirrels made for relaxing entertainment.
Otto Armleder Park (and Dog Park) is still under water. I’ve noticed that I’m starting to get google hits for people trying to find out if Otto Armeder is still underwater, so I’ll try to continue to take a picture every morning so we can watch the water levels.
After my coffee, which I drank quickly, I took a quick stroll through the arboretum. The trees have officially started their burst into new leaves.
The grass looked a vibrant green in the overcast light, and the trees that were blooming only one short week ago show only worn out remains of their floral coats.
I was about to head home and make a quick morning of it, when something catches my eye overhead. A red tailed hawk! I’ve never seen a hawk in the park before. I hopped on the bike and rode in the direction that he was flying. The thing about big hawks is that you don’t have a hard time finding them once you know they’re in the area.
This juvenile red tail impressed me with his size. Although that isn’t saying much when I’m used to looking at the robins, blue jays, and cardinals! I’d say the top of his head was a good two feet off the ground, and while it is hard to judge his wingspan, it seemed to be at least a meter in width. His tail was a rich rusty red but unfortunately I couldn’t get a good picture of it.
I found him perched on top of a small tree, looking around. He didn’t care that I was watching him, but he also didn’t stay in one spot long enough for me to get a close picture. I will say, he was intimidating. Those talons don’t mess around.
One of the park crew said they thought he was about a year old or so. We joked that he was a terrible hunter. He made lots of noise and kept fidgeting around in the branches of the trees. He did take a couple of half-hearted swoops at a squirrel.
He stayed up on his pine perch for awhile before heading over to Heekin Overlook. After a few minutes in the oaks above Heekin, he hopped up and glided out over the river valley.
Stats from this morning:
Sunrise: 6:58am EST
Temperature: 55F / 13C, not much wind at all
Sky: Dry and overcast. I thought the sun would burn through the clouds, but no such luck.
Bird Chatter: Lots of song this morning, and the red tailed hawk made an appearance.
People: One or two runners, and some teenagers walking around through the arboretum, perhaps before school started.
I am going to have nightmares about that bird!
April 18, 2011 at 1:49 pm
haha. Don’t worry, he was only eying (is that a word?) the small poodle, he didn’t go after it!
April 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm
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