Fourth Red-tail in 20 years

The week started with a very cold (-20C and more) snow storm – we learned the next day it was the coldest snow storm in Montreal for a century – so lots of small birds were enjoying our feeders when suddenly – all gone. Sitting up in a tree above the feeders was a beautiful Red-tailed Hawk who stayed for well over an hour, turning round at the half-way point so we could admire him from all sides. Our usual winter hawks are Coopers with the occasional Sharp-shinned putting in an appearance; this chap was quite unusual. In fact only the fourth appearance in the garden in 20+ years.

But the tail’s not red, you say! Apparently so in these pictures (so possibly either a juvenile or one of the very much less than common Harlani race … well, you can dream) but shortly after noon the next day he/she flew over again and displayed its red tail feathers beautifully as it did so.

By the end of the week the temperatures had been all over the place, even going briefly above freezing one day accompanied by rain so that by the end of the week the snow is pretty much as deep as ever but with a weight-supporting crust on it. Some sun came out and the squirrels suddenly started their mating ritual mad chasing un and down trees and across the deck in between stopping for snacks. We know spring is a couple of months away but these are small signs of hope.

One new garden bird for the year – a solitary Common Redpoll graced the feeders mid-week

As seen for the first 30 minutes

… and the other side

Common Redpoll

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