Saturday, September 29, 2007

Broadwings over Lake Creek

A little after 10:15 this morning I was on the flood plain property puzzling over a juvenile Indigo Bunting when I looked up and saw a kettle of migrating Broad-winged Hawks! There were over 40 of them. I got this picture of the kettle as it rose. (The larger darker birds are Black Vultures.) Soon after, the hawks peeled off one-by-one heading south. Steven McDonald who lives nearby told me he had an even larger group right over his house this morning. Broad-winged Hawks are migratory and winter in Central and South America. They migrate in huge flocks. This time of year there are places along the Gulf Coast where you can see literally thousands in flight together, kettling to catch a thermal and gain altitude, and then streaming off to the south. It's an amazing sight to see so many hawks together. When there are so many of them together so high, they can look like a cloud of gnats! I got a little taste of this amazing phenomenon in our neighborhood today!

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