Immature Red Tailed Hawk
I woke early today to a blanket of heavy/wet snow and beautiful blue skies. I new it would be a nice day to get out so instead of goofing off and being lazy, I shoveled the driveway and got ready immediately to get out and enjoy the day.
I went to three different areas and saw a bunch of bald eagles, an immature red tailed hawk, northern harriers, gray ghosts (hawks) and short eared owls. Not all of the birds were close enough for good photo opportunities, but it was still really nice to see and watch them.
The biggest highlight of my day was the immature red tailed hawk who was hunting in a field. He moved around a few times and landed on the ground a few times. The branch he landed on in one of the trees was a really nice snow covered branch and he looked so beautiful sitting there. His second landing to the ground resulted in him getting his feet caught in the grass, but after a little wiggling and tugging, he got free. Then in his third flight from a tree to the ground he flew so close to me that I couldn't get pics, then landed so hard on the ground making this big thumping sound. It sounded painful to me, but he didn't seem at all phased by it. After his third attempt at trying to hunt in the field, he moved on to another area to try again so I left to move on to another location.
At my final location I saw the northern harriers, gray ghosts and short eared owls. The northern harriers gave a few nice fly by's, but the other birds stayed very distant. Although far, it was still an amazing site to see and fun to watch. Plus the noises the short eared owls make is rather amusing.
It was a great day out as I saw so much and the sun shined all day. With the sunshine reflecting off the beautiful white snow I got sunburn on my face. Oops, ouchie, it doesn't feel that great so I do hope it goes away quickly, lol.