After Work Walk
We had the most beautiful day today with temperatures reaching 60°F and melting most of the soft fluffy snow that I was hiking in yesterday. I couldn’t resist walking around Red House Lake after work and enjoying some fresh warm spring air. It’s too bad that they are predicting freezing rain tomorrow and more snow by dusk. These teasers are still needed weather breaks with spring only 17 days away.
I enjoyed watching a few Crow family groups doing some territory cawing and chasing of other neighboring family groups from the pines. The dominant pair could be starting to select their tree for building their nest with today’s warmer temperatures . . . . which is probably whey they are acting this way. Once the neighbors got a little too close the other group’s pines . . . . the crows would chase them back the other direction. It was both noisy and entertaining to watch these velvet black birds behaving this way.
While chatting with another local photographer that was also enjoying the day. . . we noticed the Crows vocalization change to a mobbing call. We looked up to find a larger bird circling around the crows. After every crows attention focused on this reddish tailed and white bellied hawk . . . I quickly tried capturing a few photos of it. The hawk disappeared as quickly as it arrived and the crow’s volume decreased equally as quickly.
American Crow watching the Hawk
Highlight of the day had to be my first American Robin’s for 2008 (CHECK)! I didn’t have my camera or binoculars with me (was working) but I did flushed these two rusty bellied friends from the road up into a leafless maple. How I wish I had my camera with me!!
American Robin from April 2007
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WOW. Summer is getting closer. I had my first T.V’s today!
3 March 2008 at 8:01 pm
spectacular pics, Mon@rch. Thanks for sharing some corvids! 🙂
3 March 2008 at 8:09 pm
@ J – thanks and I was looking for them but your one up on me with the TV’s!
@ Liz – I thought about you writing this post! I just knew you would love these guys!
3 March 2008 at 8:11 pm
I’ve been hearing red-winged blackbirds in the swamp behind the school, but have yet to see them. Robins, though, that’s the surest sign (and my favorite after the daffodils) of spring soon to come. Lucky you to see them!
3 March 2008 at 8:33 pm
Nice walk, nice talk.
3 March 2008 at 8:49 pm
I also enjoy watching the crows’ behavior. But I’ve never seen them under a hawk! Beautiful photos, as usual.
Our Robins over-winter here but I still love seeing them – all seasons.
Happy to hear you are melting up there. It’s time.
3 March 2008 at 8:53 pm
Way to go seeing the Rob, always a great find to see the year’s first (I grew up in NE Ohio where the Robs didn’t stay all year long!). Thanks for the invite BTW, sounds like a great event.
3 March 2008 at 8:54 pm
Those springer “teaser” days are great, aren’t they? Haven’t seen any robins yet around here….still too darn cold! Glad you got to see one though, Tom.
3 March 2008 at 9:06 pm
Wonderful pictures! I bet all your melting snow made for much mud!
3 March 2008 at 9:36 pm
I just love Crows. They are so lively. Unfortunately the crows that had been visiting our garden haven’t returned since the pine trees blew down.
We had our first Robins yesterday. It sure looks like sping with them hopping around the garden. The predawn chorus is now beginning with their whinny call.
With sleet slapping the windows tonight I just hope they can find enough food tomorrow when their world is once again frozen.
3 March 2008 at 9:50 pm
@ Rondi – I heard Red-winged Blackbirds once but then it disappeared! They sure are but I am far away from the Daffodils!
@ Barb – thanks
@ Mary – they are fun to watch and this bird was up high. Passed through quickly!
@ Tom – Thanks and we do sometimes have there here all year! But not this year!
@ Ruthie – They sure are and was surprised seeing these two!
@ Chicago – thanks and it is melting fast! Ya, had lots of mud today!
@ Lisa – they are fun to watch and sorry to hear about there pine! Our freezing rain is tomorrow! Ugg
3 March 2008 at 10:13 pm
I love that RTH shot, I swear you can see hands in his wings.
3 March 2008 at 10:29 pm
I saw my first Robins a few weeks ago at PI.
Don says he sees them all winter near the woods where he works.
We have a few large evergreens in our neighboring back yards and crows nest there every year. It is fun to watch especially when they go after the squirrels through the canopy.
3 March 2008 at 10:58 pm
these are really some of the best pictures i have ever seen. crows and blackbirds and ravens are some of my favorite birds.
the robin picture is very sweet.
4 March 2008 at 12:08 am
Saw my first robin today also. We still have much snow but there is a small clear area of ground under the Eastern Hemlocks where the deer have been feeding all winter. One lone Robin was sighted around noon. Where are all the House and Purple Finches? Haven’t seen any this winter.
4 March 2008 at 12:14 am
Beautiful shots. I loved the crow shots – talk about a difficult shot!! woah excellent. Okay just curious. In the last couple of days I have ran into the same thing; what is the link between the redtailed hawk and the crows? I watch them fight way up on the mt. There are usually about five crows chasing the redtailed hawk. Great post! p.s. is your hawk young?
4 March 2008 at 1:40 am
Nothing like seeing the crows try to harass a hawk away! We’re seeing lots of Robins now too. Come on spring!!!
4 March 2008 at 6:38 am
@ Trixie – thanks and that’s mother nature holding the hawk! 🙂
@ Toni – that’s great and the Robins can be seen a year round but not this year by me!
@ Nita – thanks, blush! You are too kind! I would like to capture some Raven pictures like this!
@ Nancy – Must mean something if we both saw them on the same day! Must be some movement happening! This is an adult and not sure where the purple finch are! Might be a good thing not having the house finch!
@ Aullori – the crows will chase away the Hawk by mobbing! Same thing happens with chickadees chasing birds like the N. Shrike, etc.. or Redwings chasing a Sharpy!
@ Jayne – That is fun for sure and glad you are also seeing robins!
4 March 2008 at 7:13 am
Great pictures as usual. Thanks for sharing.
4 March 2008 at 8:16 am
We have a couple of crows nesting near our house. A pair of hawks (red shouldered, I believe,) have also been in the area, mating all over the place. The other day those factions all collided & the crows chased the mating (again) hawks away. Fun to be a witness to the “society” of birds.
Congrats on the robin. 😉
4 March 2008 at 10:49 am
Wonderful photos of the crows and hawk. I love hearing about how the crows tried to scare the hawk away. I bet the red-tailed hawk hardly noticed and just was enjoying the thermals of a nice spring-like day.
4 March 2008 at 10:51 am
The crow populations in this area have been hit hard by West Nile virus. They used to be common but not anymore. 😦
4 March 2008 at 11:23 am
I see you were out walking, too!
Isn’t it wonderful to have those sightings, in your case, Robins, that remind us that spring is coming!
I’m a bit ahead of you, I think–look what’s going on here!
4 March 2008 at 12:12 pm
Stunning shots, Tom! I’m so glad you had a chance to share your walk with us. 🙂
4 March 2008 at 2:55 pm
@ Sherry – thanks and sharing is what is so much fun!
@ Lana – I live between Red Shouldered and Broadwings, so I get taste of them passing over head but that’s about it! How wonderful have the ability to watch them like that!
@ Joan – thanks and these guys just squawked at the hawk . . . it knew better to keep on going! Was a great day for sure!
@ Dave – Sorry to hear and I think it did knock my population down but seems to be a reasonable number now!
@ Nina – you rubbing it in!!! LOL Already commented and can’t wait to hear what happened with Tom last night!
@ Lisa – thanks and glad you enjoyed it!
4 March 2008 at 4:26 pm
I too am a fan of crows. I love how they put larger birds in their place–harrassing raptors etc.
Of course, small birds do the same to crows!
4 March 2008 at 4:28 pm
Wonderful, I love ’em all 🙂
4 March 2008 at 5:36 pm
Love that hawk photo! Maybe a little ice will do you good! Could make for some nice photos anyway.
4 March 2008 at 7:33 pm
@ KGMom – they are fun birds for sure! They sure do! LOL
@ Dove – thanks
@ Lvn – thanks and sure was a great day!
4 March 2008 at 8:26 pm
Yay! Welcome back to the robins. I am waiting for the red-wings. They usually reach us by the 3rd week of March.
Your photo really expresses the beauty of the day.
Re: crow calls. I wish I could discern bird messages the way you do.
4 March 2008 at 10:13 pm
Oh sure one day of Spring for a teaser and then BANG back to winter. Love the crow shots-I love Crows glad they are recovering from West Nile 😀
6 March 2008 at 10:44 am
Yep, winter’s still here. You know how I know? The robins are still here. In Florida. LOL
6 March 2008 at 5:28 pm
Great capture, Mon@rch! I, too, took a very long walk through the woods today. It took me two hours total. But, didn’t get the incredible shots you did. There seem to be alot of the crow and red-tail action going on lately. It is so cool. Love your Redtail shot, it’s beautiful, thanks!!
11 March 2008 at 8:54 pm