Date: 10/21/17 8:34 am From: Spike Selig <spikeselig...> Subject: [IN-BIRD-L] Adult dark phase Western Red-tailed Hawk Goose Pond 10 20 2017
My wife Mary and I spent the afternoon at Goose Pond yesterday, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017.
We drove across the pond area heading S on Hwy 59 to 500 S where we turned left to the East. We then drove East to where 500S turns into a closed private farm lane. At this intersection, we turned left and and drove North a couple of blocks to a point where high tension lines cross the road. A dark adult Western Red-tailed was sitting on the power line tower. The bird appeared almost black but the white outer primaries bases showed white. The tail showed dark red but definitely red when the bird soared. The hawk was being harassed by starlings that chased it South Westward but staying on the N side of the high tension lines. where we were unable to keep up with it and lost sight. While we were chasing the hawk Westward on 500 S to 59, we saw 2 Eastern Red-tailed hawks perched on two adjacent telephone poles. The Western appeared to stay clear of flying over the Eastern Red-tailed Hawks.I tried to get my scope set up for pictures of the Western but the hawk went airborne before I got the scope set up.
On another note, my son's best friend lives North of Lake Lemmon, SE of Martinsville and E of Morgan Monroe State Forrest. The forested area he lives was the area that received heavy flooding a couple of years ago. His wooded home is just North East of the old Bloomington dump where Crows can usually be found in the area, the crows attracted to the dump. He used to live in Florida and had many experiences with Fish Crows, knowing their calls. He said he was surprised when Fish Crows showed up near his home in the woods giving the "Caah" or "Gaah" calls. I do not have exact dates but the observations were this summer 2017.
Our trip to Goose Pond was an unusual day for hawks indeed. As we drove out our driveway in Indianapolis, 2 Coopers Hawks swooped around our neighbors house, the hawks side by side. At Goose Pond, we saw 4 marsh hawks flying together while feeding, something I have not seen before. A great day for birding.