Monday, March 21, 2011

Seasonal Visitor

Rough-legged HawkLately there has been an influx of postings to the Wisconsin Birding Network with the return of early spring migrants. Spring is a perfect fix for my cabin fever, as the season brings me hope of new and exciting times and renewed interest.

Spring is the highlight of Wisconsin birding, as an ever changing group of migrants populate the state. Some species are returning for the breeding season, other species are just passing through. The end of April and beginning of May are the best weeks for warblers and other passerines. Birding by car today I saw 38 different species, with the number of hawks being noteworthy. I saw 8 American Kestrels (including this cooperative female), 3 Red-tailed Hawks, 3 Northern Harriers, 4 Bald Eagles, and 6 Rough-legged Hawks. This light-morph Rough-legged Hawk was found on the Mead Wildlife Area. Rough-legged Hawks visit during winter from the north, and soon will be gone again until next winter.

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