Feed the Birds

Every Thursday in Winter we start a morning’s birding by visiting the nearby MBO bird banding station and filling the bid feeders followed by taking a census of the birds to be seen in the cold snow. This is quite a special thing for us – the station is firmly off limits to the public which is perhaps one reason why the bird life to be found is so varied and interesting. We have the place to ourselves for as long as we want and it’s quite and peaceful – well, peaceful that is if you ignore the calling of the Blue Jays!

As we were leaving this week J spotted a hawk in a distant tree. It turned out to be a Red-tailed Hawk that was very obliging and allowed me to get close enough for some decent photographs … that’s close as in “close enough with a long tele-lens” rather than actually close.

The access road was too snow covered and icy to risk driving down so we parked in the Arboretum and walked – this takes us past the rear of the Ecomuseum Zoo where our presence was scrutinised by the Gray Wolves of the zoo’s security squad. If you live nearby and have not been to this zoo I urge you make a visit – it’s not a commercial enterprise but is owned and run by a conservation organisation that has a stellar educational mandate. All the species are local ones that have ended up there by virtue of being unable to survive in the wild – injured, or imprinted on humans etc.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk departing

Click to access zoo website

“Halt, who goes there (and have you brought any snacks)?”