Sunday, April 21, 2013

Community Birds: Red-Tailed Hawk & Rock Pigeons

Red-tailed Hawk on 390 South (December 27, 2009)
Recently I was looking through old digital photo files and came across some pictures form the past that had somehow missed closer scrutiny (or at least posting and comment) when they were originally taken. The birds featured in the images posted here are the definition of the term "ubiquitous", but that doesn't make them any less interesting to watch or photograph.

While driving around my larger community on the expressway, there are very often all types of birds relaxing on light posts or phone lines. My awareness of the Red-tailed Hawk (pictured above) is due in large part to my stepson's fascination with them when he was younger. Despite the fact that Red- tailed hawks are the most common bird in North America, there is something "cool" about them. We would often keep our eyes out for them driving to the supermarket or mall, and were rarely disappointed at not seeing at least one.

Rock Pigeons by Cobbs Hill (December 27, 2009).
Even more common that the Red-Tailed Hawk is the Rock Pigeon, if there were any irony in their naming, they would be deemed such because it is hard to throw a rock in a city without hitting withing three feet of one. It must have been a warm December back in 2009 when the above picture was taken as I usually see them huddled very closely, seemingly squeezing one another for warmth.

Community birds provide something of a constant. Thes epictues were both taken almost four years ago, and were I to drive down the road as I'm writing this, chances are great that one would see very similar birds in the same locations I took these. As exciting as seeing the rarer (and more colorful) Downy Woodpecker in my backyard might be, there is something reassuring about counting on seeing a Red-Tailed Hawk or Rock Pigeon on my commute to work each day.

All About Birds

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