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Lower Rio Grande Valley Update No. 5

by Bryan on April 11th, 2012

It began with only a few Mississippi Kites. Dashing, angular and determined, they flew over us in the parking lot at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park. As the morning progressed the hawks roses from forests across the river in Mexico. Hundreds. Then thousands.

They rose in kettles on thermals of thick, valley air. Broad-winged Hawks. A few Swainson’s Hawks sprinkled in. More Mississippi Kites. We were busy enjoying Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet at a nest and Ringed Kingfisher flying by along a resaca. But the hawks beckoned. Migrating kettles were like clouds of insects.

The official count was at the Bentsen hawkwatch that morning was 14,865. But the total was no doubt higher. Way higher. It was an astonishing movement of northbound birds.

We ended the day in the good company of an Elf Owl in a dead palm, Eastern Screech Owls and Common Pauraques. Gotta run!

One Comment
  1. Bryan: Your Daily Wing posts are fabulous. Thank you.
    I have been up close to Harris Hawks at the falconry school at the
    Equinox in Mancester. Amazing experience. Your photo brought it
    all back.

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