[Tweeters] Kent - Shrikes, Harlan's Hawk

Carol & Lynn Schulz carol.schulz50 at gmail.com
Wed Feb 6 21:34:49 PST 2013

Hi Tweets:
On Wed, Jan 30, I saw an adult Northern Shrike perched quite close to the South Viewing Tower at Kent Ponds. It called and sang, and perched on various perches around that field. On Sun, Feb 3, Roger Orness and I scouted the valley. There was a possible light or intermed. morph HARLAN'S HAWK near the south tower at Kent Ponds. No one was in the area on that cloudy day, just before the Superbowl. Later Roger spotted a juvenile Northern Shrike on one of the tall piles of wood at the mitigated field on 204th. On Mon, I saw an adult N. Shrike from the South Viewing Tower at Kent Ponds. It was perched for awhile on a bush way over to the west part of the field by the red barn. I was looking for the Harlan's but didn't relocate it on that sunny day w/ lots of people.
Today, Wed, Feb 6 mid day, I viewed the ponds on 204th w/ the piles of wood, and an adult N. Shrike was on top of one of them. I drove on around onto Frager Rd north, and just before you get out to S 212th there is a huge field. You park at a pullout on Frager Rd and look west. The "possible", make that "probable" HARLAN'S HAWK was there. Along w/ about 3 other Red-tailed Hawks. Two of the other hawks were near each other, but the Harlan's was by itself.
At first the Harlan's was perched on a post in the field, then it flew up to one of the trees on the left side of the field. It is an adult. Maybe a light-intermed. morph Harlan's. Very-white breast w/ a few black streaks. Top of crown is blackish brown w/ fine white streaks. It's face has a lot of white on it, white all around the dark eyes, and two black malar type spots. White throat. Some black streaks on its belly. Underside of tail is white. It's back is very black w/ some white spots. Primaries about 1 1/2 inches shorter than tail. Tail has some rufous on it w/ black bands. Whole impression of this bird is black and white. Except for the rufous tail.
I got out my ABA Birding magazine w/ the article by William Clark called "Extreme Variation in Tails of Adult Harlan's Hawks", Jan, 2009. Some of the tails shown are quite rufous in color. That makes me feel better about this ID.
The ponds around S 204th in Kent have some water in them, and there are at least 100 Green-winged Teals in the south mitigated field ponds. It's the field w/ the big wood piles. Watch for shrikes on those wood piles.
Yours, Carol Schulz
Des Moines

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