Thursday, August 28, 2014

Cooper's and Red-tailed make for fun morning commute

This morning as I was driving eastbound on Airline Hwy under the Causeway overpass, the wire-loafing pigeons arose in a great panicked ball and began maneuvering overhead.  A glimpse revealed a Cooper's Hawk dodging through their midst, hoping for a meal.  This is not the first time I have seen this scenario played out at this intersection.

Fifteen minutes later, back on Airline at the 17th Street Canal, a large raptor flew very low over the highway toward me and tee'd up on a post, showing the diagnostic belly pattern of a Red-tailed Hawk (black belly streaks, with white fore and aft of them).  Red-tails don't nest south of the Lake, and their main migratory period is in the late fall, so I'm guessing this one wandered from breeding grounds relatively nearby- they nest as close as St. Tammany.


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