Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Land of the Hawks

While making a rather long drive from Memphis, Tennessee to Rockford, Illinois, we attempted to count motorhomes, an old game of ours to help pass the time. We were not finding too many this time of the year or on the roads were driving. We have counted other interesting things before like pronghorns in Wyoming and pick-up trucks in central Illinois.

This time however we soon began to notice all the hawks that were everywhere along the side of the road. They were perched on barren trees, fence posts, telephone wires and even on the ground. We saw them flying several times and we spotted them on lonely two-lane county roads and big, busy Interstate 55.

We spied the hawks in Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois. Most of them were red-tailed hawks, but we know we saw some sparrow hawks as well as Cooper hawks, red-shouldered hawks and Swainsons hawks. Patsy tried to catch a few with the camera, but this is not an easy feet while driving down the road! Overall we saw well over a 100 hawks on our northward trek. Fall is a great time to spot them, as they are searching the plowed under fields for mice and moles and the leafless trees do not hide their presence as well.

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