Saturday, February 20, 2010

Prairie Hawk ID and a Little of Leg #1

I am going stir crazy!!!!! I can not wait to ramble on..............

So far, planned stops on my first leg will be Bald Eagle State Park and spots along the Delaware Water Gap in PA, Indiana Dunes Nat'l Lakeshore in Indiana, Wrigley Field in Chicago (only drove past it last time... even that was a mistake... Chicago highways are TOUGH to know where the hell you are, or going), Buffalo Gap Nat'l Grassland in North Dakota (on SD/ND border), Black Hills Nat'l Forest, Wind Cave Nat'l Park, Deadwood (town of, in SD), Mt. Rushmore, and a day or two in Rapid City, SD.

This first leg will be quicker than the others, mostly because I want to get to SoCal and AZ while the bird migration is still moving. And secondly because my drive to Alaska had the SAME route until I reach the Dakotas. I will certainly stop at the places I know of from last time on that leg (there was an awesome little inland wetlands spot at the Wisconsin Welcome Center on I-90), but I am a rambler and I love driving past something and thinking...

"Man that looks like a neat spot to hike"..... or 'Wow. I just saw a Swainson's Hawk!! Gotta stop here!"

I found a few cool spots like that. One of which led me to a hawk that I have still yet to have 100% confirmation of whether it is a juvenile Krider's Red-tail, light-morph Ferrigenous, or something else.

See for yourself, and you decide.... the white on the head leads me to think a young Krider's. Which is prairie subspecies of the Red-tailed Hawk. The bird was seen just south of Des Lacs NWR in (pretty far up) NW North Dakota.

I'd love to hear some thoughts on the raptor from some of my fellow birders.... as I still call it a 'possible Krider's'.


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