Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Three are gone


Today is the start of a new life for three of my baby Swainson's Hawks. They've been here all winter because they weren't ready to handle a 12,000 mile migration to Argentina for the winter. They required a leader, even better, a large group of swainson's to lead them to their wintering grounds. Because the adults had already left it was necessary to keep them here until the older birds returned to the area.

That happened this past week so my friend, Julie, and I drove them to a wonderful release site and opened crate doors. The most exciting part was getting to that area. With all the rain we've been having, the two track alongside the canal was extremely muddy. And the side road to the area I wanted was so bad that I parked the truck and we walked downhill for a bit carrying the crates. I only fell twice when my feet slipped out from under me. So much for my clean jeans.

HUDSON took off wonderfully, heading left, and landed in a far tree. That was after WILSON finally decided to leave her crate. She also flew left to a far tree. Then it was PATTISON's turn. She walked out of the crate, stood for a couple moments and then flew off to the right and flew and flew. She finally landed on a far rock outcrop where some small birds let her know they weren't pleased at her choice of perches.

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