Date: 2/24/18 12:08 pm
From: kenanwy via va-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: [Va-bird] red-tailed hawks at Ballston Pond in Arlington
You never know what you'll find at the Ballston "Pond" in Arlington, mostly effluent garbage and sometimes cool birds.  Today, the light and visibility are good, and there were two red-tailed hawks among some commoners.  Here's the story:
Looking out from the observation deck, I see several song sparrows, and look for other sparrows.  All of a sudden a raptor, which must have been perched near me flies away, landing at the far end of the pond on the top of a Rt. 66 light pole--as it flies i see the distinctive burnt orange of the tail.  Dog distraction then turning back around I see the red-tailed hawk about 30 feet away on the ground, wings spread--hawk on light pole gone, how did it get back over here anyway, maybe it chased something, 15 seconds on the ground, then it flies to a tree perch with a small prize in its talons, pauses then flies out of sight. Dog distraction. Scanning, I spot the hawk on a different light pole but it doesn't seem to be eating anything.  More distraction, then I see a hawk in a tree, moving around giving me good views, pale breast, brown streaked belly band, yellow legs and feet, burnt orange tail with soft black band near but not at the end, whitish supercilium, 40 feet away, seems to have finished its meal.  Still one hawk on the pole and one in a tree.  No vocalizations during this time. Pretty cool! 
Katherine WychulisArlington, VA 
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