Monday, January 23, 2006

Extra Special Double Monday Bonus Post: Wildlife Edition

You may recall that a few posts ago we showed you our backyard visitor, this guy:

Duplicate picture, not a repeat visit

At the time, we speculated that our hawk was actually a falcon, or maybe it was a hawk after all. Truth is, we had no idea what it was. Thankfully, a lot of people in our family are smarter than we are, or have better bird books, or both. Over the weekend, a very informative phone call was placed to us by Mom Angle and Nick. Nick found a description in one of his books of the Northern Marsh Hawk, also known as the Harrier. No, not this Harrier; while they are certainly cool one of them would have done substantially more damage to our backyard than our feathered friend. When Mom asked if our backyard visitor had a head that looked like an owl (even though it clearly wasn't an owl), we knew we had a winner. The striped tail, the spotted back, all key features. They can range into Georgia during the winter, and often have variations in head color which would explain why ours was buff in the head while most of the harriers you see in pictures are brown.

So there you have it, mystery solved. Not a falcon. Yes, a hawk, but specifically a marsh hawk, also known as a harrier.

No comments: