Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A Moment for Wildlife Wednesday January 2019

I almost missed this amazing wildlife moment.

On the weekend before Christmas I attended a family event with my cousins in Houston.  To avoid driving back in the dark I stayed at my sister's home in a rural area outside the small town of Chappell Hill, Texas.  It was dusk when I pulled into their drive intending to grab my stuff and head inside.  Fortunately I heard a sound which caused me to turn around and look.


Hawks!  Possibly a hundred or more roosting in a row of trees highlighted by sunset.  All those dots in the trees are hawks and even the tree on the far left is filled with them.  This behavior is known as "communal roosting" and it is common among smaller birds like starlings.  Very little information is available regarding communal roosting on this scale for larger territorial hunters like Hawks and Eagles.  While I was not certain they were hawks that evening I did observe many hawks hunting over the nearby fields the next morning.

My still photos did not turn out well due to darkness but I did get several videos with audio of the gentle flapping sound that alerted me to this spectacular moment.



Then I moved a little closer





As we head into 2019 I wish for more moments like this.

Wildlife Wednesday is hosted by Tina at "My Gardener Says...." on the first Wednesday of each month where you will find more blogger's wildlife posts linked in the comments section.  Today she shares her memories of a stunning photo from space which made us all stop and see our planet in a different way some years ago.

8 comments:

  1. Wow! That's a real treat! I've never seen that, and in fact, never seen the raptor migration which occurs in spring and autumn. In Corpus (where I'm from, originally), birders gather to observe that migration and the flocking, but I've never been privileged. Thanks for sharing this special event a happy 2019 to you and yours!

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    1. Our hawks remain most of the year in small groups so we don't see large migrations. Bird watching in Corpus is quite a sport, we have met many birders from all over the world on trips to the coast.


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  2. Fabulous! I've seen crows roosting in a large group like that, which was a little scary, conjuring images from "The Birds," but your group of hawks looks calmer. Did they make any noise? I couldn't hear anything in the video. For fun, I looked to see if there was a term for a group of hawks as there is for a "murder" of crows. The only one I found was a "kettle" of hawks but that refers to them circling in flight overhead, not roosting.

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    1. The sound of wings flapping is very gentle but can be heard. The background noise is the birds as there is no traffic noise where they live.

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  3. Right place, right time, and the mindset to notice what is right. Amazing to see a gathering of hawks.

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    1. It was and might happen more often if I spent more time in the country.

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  4. What treat to see! I didn’t know they did that. Once our house was surrounded by a “flock” of bluebirds. We ran thru the house looking out of windows on all four sides and estimated there must have been at least fifty. Sometime we are lucky enough to see strange things. Makes me wonder what all we miss....

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    1. Bluebirds are so pretty, that would be fun to see. I try not to miss much but I know I do. We had hundreds of crows flock around our house in VA.

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