Date: 2/21/18 3:21 pm
From: Clayton Koonce <cg.koonce...>
Subject: [MDBirding] dead immature red-shouldered hawk, Lake Kittamaqundi, Columbia
For the past couple of months, I've been watching a young red-shouldered hawk around the northwest section of Lake Kittamaqundi. I noticed several times that the bird seemed to favor perching on deck railings and fences attached to houses -- especially in those recent severe cold snaps, I think it found shelter from wind in sunny spots by doing that. (I once surprised it perching so right outside my own patio slider.) I hadn't seen the bird for at least a week and wondered what had become of it. This evening, I found it dead beside the path where I usually enter the woods as I begin a walk around the lake. It's highly possible that I have walked by a few times already without noticing the body, so I don't know how long it has been dead. I am wondering if this should be investigated further. I know a couple of authorities in Columbia and Howard County that I can contact, but if anyone has other suggestions or would like to look into this, let me know.

I am hoping the bird didn't meet with some mishap or an angry homeowner by perching close to and on dwellings. Could a mob of crows kill a young hawk like this? Is it also possible that the bird was having trouble catching prey and simply starved? (Close up, the dead hawk is about the size of a crow -- not very big.)

Attached: 5694 is a close view of the dead hawk. I have other photos.

If you look at RSHA in the illustrated checklist for Lake Kittamaqundi on eBird, you can find a few photos of this bird in perching situations such as I described. I also posted one in the Flickr group a few weeks ago.

(eBird note: I want to enter this in my eBird list for this evening's walk. I know they don't want counts of dead birds, but I think a zero count, such as you do for unoccupied nests, with the photos included would be useful. If any eBird reviewers say nay to this idea, let me know.)


Clayton Koonce
Columbia, Md.
member, Howard County Bird Club

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