|Cooper's Hawks are sometimes called Flying Cross|
There is a large hawk migration that takes place every year from mid September to mid October. Broad-winged Hawks, Cooper's Hawks, and Mississippi Kites to name a few, make the move from the north to winter as far south as South America.
|Osprey can have a wingspan of 71 inches|
The upper Texas coast sees many of them passover head in the thousands. One day in September a location near Houston counted over 4100 in one day and the numbers can go even higher.
|Red-Tailed Hawk habitats includes deserts and grasslands, coniferous and deciduous forests, |
agricultural fields and cities throughout Canada, the US, and Mexico
I was lucky this year, able to see and photography many of these migrants. There were three on my wish list and I got them all a few weeks ago: Merlin, American Kestrel, and the Peregrin Falcon. I worked the hardest for the Peregrin finding one hiding in the shade of an electrical pole.
I thought he would be the only one I saw and regretted not getting a better picture in a more natural setting. Don't get me wrong, I was happy to get any photo at all, but I prefer a bird on a branch or in flight over a bird on a wire any day. I got my wish this week on a trip back to the coast and came across a juvenile male that had just made a kill.
|Peregrins dive at 200 mph|
Though I missed the dive from above, I was able to begin shooting shortly after he brought down an American Avocet. I had approached into the sun so I moved around to get better light.
The process he went through was fascinating beginning with plucking the chest feathers. The breeze was coming off the gulf and scattered them on the beach.
|This falcon probably flew from the Arctic and will end up in South America for the winter.|
He did this with quick jerking motions pulling several out at a time.
|Peregrins mate for life|
|The average life span of a Peregrin is 17 years|
|Peregrines were removed from the endangered list in 1999|
|Peregrines catch their prey mid air|
|Females are larger than the males|
|The Peregrin Falcons name means Wandering Falcon in latin|
And just a note about the American Avocet. There was a large flock 50 yards down the beach from where I found the falcon. Probably the same flock that his kill had come from. They numbered in the hundreds. A beautiful bird to be sure, but also a part of the circle of life and the reality of nature.