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Monday, March 5, 2012

Northern Goshawk and Ducks

The Northern Goshawk took a Mallard duck in our yard, over the weekend; the hawk is still around.  We've seen it sitting in the maple waiting for ducks to appear.

Dwayne Biggar, who writes a column in the Times & Transcript every Saturday, lists identifying characteristics of a mature Northern Goshawk:  brilliant red eyes, fairly distinctive plumage and a tail that extends below the folded wind tips.  He identified this one from our photos.  (Dwayne's email:  thebirdgarden@rogers.com )

Dwayne says that Mallards are expanding exponentially and will potentially cause problems for other ducks, like the Blacks.  He says that the Hawk picks out the weakest, possibly a sick bird, so he's helping the rest of the flock. 

Dwayne linked to my blog entry of March 3, 2012 for Birding New Brunswick, to share the photos.

The ducks do not seem to be upset by this not-too-common backyard visitor, or perhaps they have short memories.

Nelson Poirier of Nature Moncton commented upon the rarity of seeing a Goshawk up close.  Nelson also writes a Saturday column for the Times and Transcript.  He describes himself as a "veterinarian by trade and a naturalist by nature" and can be contacted at  nelson@nb.sympatico.ca.  Bob Childs, of Nature Moncton, posted our Northern Goshawk photos on their website.  http://naturemoncton.org/hotshots.htm

Thanks to each person who supported our hawk sighting and shared our photos.  As you can see, the ducks continue to come, undeterred by the Goshawk.  Perhaps he is passing through on his migration route, as we haven't seen him this afternoon.

All photos are mine. 
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Anonymous said...

Amazing photographs! It was an interesting afternoon watching this Goshawk swoop into your yard trying to do what he does best. Lucky for the ducks, it didn't happen again. Not so much for the bird that wanted to be fed. Again, your photos are always fabulous!


Carol Steel said...

Thanks Linda! We were fortunate to have had the opportunity to have seen the Goshawk up close. It was spectacular to watch a hawk working the yard. Thanks for your comment.

Teal said...

Your pictures are stunning! Amazing the way you captured all the birds and the surrounding is amazing! Love it!

Carol Steel said...

We were lucky to be in the right place at the right time as the Goshawk was migrating through and stopped to feed in our yard. Thanks for your comment.