Thursday, March 27, 2014

Story in the Snow

[scanned Kodachrome II slide]

A Story in the Snow

© Dave Spier

Birder's journal March 21, 1971: I was following the redtail along the ridge, not so much to get a photo of it as we were both heading in roughly the same direction. I was a minute or two behind the hawk when I exited the woods and entered a partly-scrubby opening on the north end of the drumlin. More by luck than anything else, I came upon the story written as clearly as if words had been used. The mouse tracks ended in a depression, surrounded by the hawk's wing and tail feathers imprinted on the surface as it lifted into the air, prey in tow, while a drop of blood on the snow was all that remained of the hapless creature.

This could have been written a week ago; we've had no shortage of snow and cold weather this winter. There is a timeless element to many of nature's stories. It's likely a story that has been written over and over again across the intervening years.

immature Red-tailed Hawk (note barred tail)


For more information on Red-tailed Hawks, photos and sounds, visit the All About Birds website. An interactive range map (zoomable to your location) can be found in the eBird Explore Data section.

Corrections, comments and questions are always welcome at or connect through my Facebook page and photo page. There's also a community-type page for The Northeast Naturalist. Other nature and geology topics can be found on the parallel blogs Adirondack Naturalist, Heading Out, and a Naturalist's Viewpoint. 

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