Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sharp-shinned Hawk, 8 Oct 2012

With family visiting last week, my birding experiences have slowed considerably, but will try to rectify that situation this weekend.  In the meantime, I will have to rely on my back yard or the unexpected bird elsewhere.  Monday, turned out to be something a bit unexpected and for me quite extraordinary.  When I returned home from work on Monday afternoon, I peered out into my back yard and saw some movement along the back wall.  I was quite surprised to find a hawk feasting on a Mourning Dove.  I have had American Kestrels in my neighborhood for the past couple of years, but this bird was not a kestrel.  Turns out to be a Sharp-shinned Hawk juvenile.  My first thought was a Cooper's Hawk as that would have been the most expected bird to see.  But after checking the photos and with some advice from a couple of other birding experts, we have identified it as a Sharp-shinned Hawk.  Not really a new life bird for me, but it is not one that I see very often and have never been able to photograph, so it was a real treat for me.  Definitely not a treat for the Mourning Dove, but they are quite numerous and not in any danger of extinction.  In fact, the Mourning Doves in Arizona breed all year.  Hope you enjoy the photos as I have and it is another wake up call to always be alert to what you might find anywhere at any given time.  


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