Arial Surveillance

Red Tailed Hawk Soaring

It was a windy day as this spy flew gracefully over our farm, rising up from the marsh pines on thermals, across the south field and down the valley. We see hawks time to time. They watch the chickens. The rooster and dogs watch the hawk. I’ve never seen the hawks come down. I enjoy seeing the big birds soaring, up in the sky. A few weeks ago we saw an adult bald eagle over by the Connecticut River along I-91.

There is a raven in the valley who has a big permanent bite out of the middle of its left wing. I suspect the injury is a memento from Kita’s raven baiting. The raven, apparently, hasn’t fallen for her tricks again. Interestingly, while Kita detests ravens I have read reports that wolves and ravens work cooperatively in the wild. Perhaps the difference is here they’re invading her farm and she’s protecting her livestock. Who was where first is a moot point so the war goes on.

We had snow falling gently this morning. The ground is still warm so it will melt away in short time. This is not unusually early for snow although this year, just a few days ago, was unusually late for the first frost. Amazingly, the tomatoes in their sheltered south east hillside location by the upper whey tank soldier on although the tomatillos and pumpkins in more exposed locations have given up the ghost for the year.

Outdoors: 48°F/26°F 3/4″ Rain + 1/8″ Snow at night
Farm House: 65°F/55°F Put out one Round Hay bale
Tiny Cottage: 58°F/55°F

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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9 Responses to Arial Surveillance

  1. Danna says:

    I did not know hawks had wing tips like the picture you show. I assumed that only vultures did. At least the ones here in North Carilina are the only that I have seen with finger feathers. We have many hawk, owl, crow/raven, fox, coyote overseeing all our peacocks, and squirrel. The vultures usually come when some hunter has killed an innocent doe and left it to die on our property or someone has killed one of our peacocks and left it to attract them unless the dogs and myself find it in the woods first which makes me very sad that some beings can be so cruel.

  2. Hi Danna,

    Vultures are more unusual here although I think I’ve seen a couple. I just did a Google search on images for red tailed hawks and vultures. The photo above looks to be the red tailed hawk. In this case it was pretty high up but sometimes we see them up close, especially along the road. The red tailed hawks do have the wing tips with the feathers out like that. Additionally wing markings and tail match the red tailed hawk. I’m no expert on birds though so if someone knows for sure, chime in!



  3. SBH says:

    Great picture!
    I’m no expert either, but we’re watching the hawks. I would bet your picture is one.
    We have plenty here, and they love to watch the chickens. They even got one of our silkie roosters – seems he tried to fight the hawk, to give the others time to hide. They haven’t bothered the RIR yet. I’m thinking that rooster is a little too big.

  4. We did have one time in the winter when a hawk came down late in the afternoon and tried for the chickens in the hoop house. My wife saw it go in. Kita nearly caught the hawk. Given the weaponry of that bird it may be best she just scared it off. The hawk injured one hen who recovered in time. That’s the only time we’ve had a hawk down, that we know of.

  5. Danna says:

    I stand corrected after looking up images of the red tailed hawk. Now I know why the peafowl send out so many alarms. And of course the next time I look up to see what they are watching in the sky I will be more cautious and not dismiss their concerns as just vultures.
    Thank you very much for the enlightenment. I am always learning something new and reading the most interesting information on your site.

  6. We had our first frost last night.
    Surprising you are not much more ahead of us.
    (SW Ohio)

  7. Sandy says:

    It certainly looks like a red tailed hawk to me. We had plenty in our area, including a pair nesting not too far from our farm. They used to spend much time circling our farm and the pasture and strawberry fields that surrounded them. To my knowledge, they never went after any of our poultry, but we did often see them diving, perhaps looking for rodents and snakes, in the surrounding fields. There was also a flock of tiny black birds (a mixture of starlings, red-winged black birds and brown-headed cow birds) that would actually attack en masse and drive off the hawks and other predatory birds temporarily. That was fascinating.

  8. Hi Walter,
    Where we live (Northern B.C.)the weather sounds pretty close to where you are. Our land even looks similar. We’ve had the warning snows and are prepped for the real thing. We also have hawks, one of the neatest is a Harrier which flies just above the ground following the hills. Our dog, Xena, is never bothered by the hawks or Eagles, but by Magpies which actually taunt her. Great Blog – your on my reading list now.

    Art Blomquist ( just Google to see all about us..)

  9. Art, we even have the same rebar cutters, chainsaw and chaps… :)

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