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6496Re: Raptors

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  • Dan
    Mar 1, 2005
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      It's interesting to observe the different personalities of raptors.
      Accipiters certainly seem to be more determined than other hawks. One
      fall I watched as a Cooper's Hawk flew at a covey of Grey Partridge
      foraging near a farmyard's double hedge of caraganas. At the first
      alarm, the partridge dove into the caraganas. A Red-tailed Hawk or
      Swainson's Hawk would likely have given up at that point, but the
      Cooper's barely slowed down as it hit the ground running and plunged
      into the bushes. The partridge exploded out of the hedge with the
      Cooper's in hot pursuit. They disappeared over the yard so I don't
      know the outcome, but it's no wonder that birds panic when accipiters
      appear.
      On Saturday, near White Bear I watched a Prairie Falcon hovering like
      a kestrel as it hunted a stubble field. Small rodents are listed as
      prey for PRFAs and hovering is considered one of their 11 methods of
      hunting, but I'd never seen it before. On the third hover, the falcon
      dove for something and remained on the ground for about a minute. I
      couldn't see what it caught, but I've seen Deer Mice in the daytime in
      that area this year, so it was likely a mouse. There has been a
      Prairie Falcon roosting on round bales in this field for about a
      month; on February 6 there were two falcons in that same field. The
      hunting must be good.

      Dan Zazelenchuk
      Kyle
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