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21189Re: [Saskbirds] Matador Area Birds

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  • Don Wilson
    Aug 16, 2011

      zedbander wrote:

      > Yesterday I thought something must have happened to 3U, one of the
      > four Swainson's Hawk chicks from the laneway nest. The other three,
      > 4U, 5U, and 6U, were on fences near the nest, in eyesight of each
      > other but much more spread out than last week. I checked several times
      > through the day, but never saw 3U (most likely a male by
      > measurements). This morning, however, all four were strung out on the
      > fences.
      > I thought that would be my highlight for the day.
      > But later on, the aerial display of the dozen or so adult Swainson's
      > Hawks dropping out of the sky into the lentil stubble, as the combines
      > uncovered voles, was nothing short of spectacular. A couple of the
      > hawks hit the ground so hard I thought they might break something.
      > Most years, I can't tempt SWHAs with rodents at this time of year, the
      > hawks much preferring the superior protein content of grasshoppers to
      > mice or voles. But, we have very few grasshoppers this year. The hawks
      > ate so many voles that I wondered if they might be too heavy to fly.
      > As we moved out of the field, the hawks were just standing around.
      > So, I figured that would be the highlight.
      > But... just after dark, when the lentil straw toughened, and lightning
      > flashed in all directions, we shut down and headed for home. The sweet
      > clover is three feet high on the edges of the road and the crops are
      > very good, so the narrow road is the only open area. Fortunately, I
      > wasn't going fast so I was able to brake before hitting the owl as it
      > rose right in front of me. I really like Short-eared Owls, so it's
      > always a treat to see one. But then, there was another one, and
      > another, and another. Altogether, there were six Short-eared Owls on
      > the way home, all rising from the middle of the road, ducking and
      > diving into the night.
      > Very cool. The highlight of the day.
      > Dan
      > Matador, Sk

      http://www.stsk.ca Small Town Saskatchewan - Videos from the Heartland
      http://www.Crowsnest-Highway.ca The Virtual Crowsnest Highway
      (306) 585-0374
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