It was hawk day on the Flyway! We saw a rough-legged hawk hovering, northern harriers and rough-legged hawks flying, and two Northern Harriers perching – the first time that we’ve ever seen two together! Migration patterns can alter as populations change and habitat increases or diminishes. I would love to see more of them using the Mississippi Flyway – the large treed islands aren’t harrier habitat, but open islands and sandbars are excellent places for open ground hunters like these.
Thanks so much for watching, sharing, learning, and caring. I hope you like these videos as much as we did!
December 14, 2021: A Rough-Legged Hawk hovers on the Flyway
December 14, 2021: Rough-legged hawk hovering demo – https://youtu.be/Zm_NQ-jtkus. Go to 2:20 for a really cool close-up of this behavior! You can see how the hawk spreads its tail wide and flat, opens its wing slots, and holds its head steady, staying perfectly balanced as it searches for food below. It flapped its wings about once every 2.5 seconds for most of its hover – an incredible feat given that an adult’s wingspan is about 52.0-54.3″ inches long. Want to see it in slow-motion? Follow this link: https://youtu.be/UtBWcEgqdMs.
Rough-legged hawks hunt from perches and on the wing, depending on the availability of perches, weather, and possibly other factors. Its longest hover last about 26 seconds, its shortest hover lasted about 10 seconds, and it hovered for about one minute, 45 seconds over a three minute period.
December 14, 2021: Northern Harriers – https://youtu.be/aBEDU6WyRy8. Heart be still – there are two of them!
Northern Harriers and rough-legged hawks are stunning and our camera operators and videomakers loved them! We have six videos from December 14 on our Mississippi Flyway playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeNR2ocnlCOc_HL6IzIBscwVFKC1Ljjfl
Decorah North Eagles
December 15, 2021: Mr. North and DNF Dance the stick tango!
December 14, 2021: Stick tango – https://youtu.be/TIepT0iDfwg. Am I the only one hearing the mamushka in my head beginning at 15 seconds? Mr. North and DNF are hard at work on nestorations when they both decide to move the same stick. The stick struggle is real!
December 14, 2021: North early morning – https://youtu.be/rEet0CPSNNg. This is a long video, but I really loved the first part. It opens with some eagle yoga – eagles get stiff after a long night of perching! – and moves into very cool mutual vocalizations as Mr. North and DNF briefly duet (1:13). The two begin getting ready for the day with a nice long preening session, grooming and straightening their feathers and removing feather lice and/or mites. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such a long dual session before – the two are clearly making sure that every feather is in place! Nest work begins at 24:29.