Date: 1/23/18 8:35 am From: <info...> Subject: [JERSEYBI] the weirdest places
My sister, who isn't much of birder, called me last week to ask if she could have seen a short-eared owl at our family farm in East Brunswick. She said she pulled out a bird book and that was the closest thing it looked like. I said, well, you could have seen a short-eared but it isn't likely because the habitat wasn't right (a smallish pasture surrounded by tall trees). She said she took pictures. Send 'em over, I said. "I don't know how (she's not that tech savvy either). I'll have to ask our niece" . Finally, over a week later the pictures arrive. It wasn't a short-eared. I thought it might have been a red-tailed hawk because there's so much variability in their appearance and it looked like some type of buteo, but that didn't seem right either. Red-shouldered? Nah. Broad-winged? Nah. Anymore, I'm really, really lazy, so I sent it off to a friend to get an ID. The verdict? A Rough-legged! Of course! Amazing the weird places that birds can show up.
Other raptor ramblings: On our farm here in Somerset we've seen an adult red-shouldered hawk hanging around the wetlands starting about a week ago, and every so often when I go to my apiary to check on how many of my honey bees went belly-up this winter I'll spot a gray ghost floating, dipping and twirling over one of our fallow fields (the fields are crazy with meadow voles). Red-tails are around all the time.