HerbDoc recently had an unexpected – and welcome – visitor to her garden:
It’s common to see various owls and hawks in this area, but I was amazed to look out my window the other day and spot this Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus). It was the first time I have seen this hawk in my yard, and it sent me scurrying to my field guide to identify him. These birds are 16-24 inches tall with a breathtaking wing span. He was sitting quietly on a low branch looking for dinner which I understand may be insects, small mammals, and in the better weather, frogs and snakes. As I watched he hopped down to the ground and proceeded to jump rapidly up and down, returning to his branch to dine on what I presumed was some sort of insect.
These raptors love deciduous woodland, especially where standing water may be present. My guide tells me that they are quite vocal, emitting a shrill kee-yeer, but this bird made not a sound.
Many Native Americans believe that the hawk is a symbolic messenger. I hope that his message at this time is for a happy, healthy and peaceful 2011 for all of our readers and contributors!
It’s so exciting when interesting (feathery) visitors drop by!
Have a wonderful New Year. All the best for 2011.
He was absoultely gorgeous, Martha, and hung around for quite a while.
With all of the snow on the ground and very little food available, our native turkeys have been flying up to the second floor deck to check the feeder for sunflower seeds…also quite a site to see!
Have a very Happy New Year!
It looks like a lucky site! Happy New Year to you and all the other RI Master Gardeners!
Thanks for the good wishes, Wendy. All the best to the MD Master Gardeners, too!
I just saw this bird in MY backyard! I couldn’t get over how golden yellow his/her feet were. A beautiful sight and to think, I just read this blog yesterday and was gazing out the window while I worked on emails today. I love that.
Another lucky one with a good New Year’s omen. Looks like you’re going to have a great 2011!