What an unexpected treat this morning as I had yet another close encounter with a Broad-winged Hawk, just when I thought the one Chris and I saw on Monday was my last for the season as their incredible migration to as far away as northern South America is well underway.
Today's sighting was very different for me, though, as this beauty was nowhere near a forest, and instead was surrounded by open fields and meadows:
It quickly dealt with an apparent itch, fluffing itself up a bit in the process:
Good to go, it returned to hunting mode:
At times it flicked its tail, a behaviour I had never seen before:
The back of its head appeared to have "eyes":
It continued looking for food until a large truck sped by and thankfully spooked it away from the road and back into a field:
I am going to assume that this Broad-winged Hawk will be the last one I see for the year.
To put it in perspective, 68,193 of these beauties were counted at the Detroit River Hawk Watch on September 16, that's in one day. Today, September 17, it slowed down as they only had 52,635 Broad-wings move through, the counters must have been bored silly. Right. Their month-to-date numbers are currently 135,023, of course excluding this one who was still in the Kawarthas this morning.
Time for it to get with the program and move on to its wintering grounds!