Thursday, October 9, 2008

Skywatch Friday: Swainson's Hawk Migration

Swainson's Hawks in Rio Rico, AZ 10-5-08 by photo by Gusto!
Nikon D80 70-300mm lens
Click on photo to enlarge for best view

In Autumn the Swainson's Hawks gather in huge flocks for fall migration. Though I have read about this, I have never witnessed it for myself until this past Sunday when we were in Rio Rico. As we came around a curve on Pendleton Drive we spotted this kettle of birds swirling in the sky. Gus pulled over and grabbed the camera while I grabbed my binoculars. As I watched amazed Gus snapped off over 350 photos. The birds were in the air, in the trees and on the ground. A few turkey vultures mingled with them, but I counted over 50 birds just on the ground and more than 50 in the air. It was truly an amazing sight!

Swainson's Hawk soars over tree tops in Rio Rico, AZ 10-5-08 by Gusto!

Visit Skywatch Friday to view more amazing views of the sky from around the globe.


30 comments:

Texas Travelers said...

Great photo. Well done.

I love to watch Hawks kettle up and then stream off.

We go down to the hawk watch weekend at Corpus Christi some times and see thousands.

I have never been able to get a photo as good as this one by Gus. Tell him "well done".

Come visit,
Troy and martha

Migs CFL fan said...

Very intriguing photo. Well done

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers

http://reginainpictures.blogspot.com/

Pretty Life Online said...

Perfect catch for SWF!!!! I am so happy to be part of this fun. I find myself excited and visiting other sky photos all over the world. Happy Skywatch! Hope you can visit my SWF entry too...

chrome3d said...

That bird flies in to a lovely watercolour blur. I love that!

Anne-Berit said...

Beautiful photos of beautiful birds!

Coloradolady said...

Great photos. Love the shots of the birds. The colors are wonderful.

Ivar Ivrig said...

Excellent photos. Thank you for joining SWF. Have a nice weekend :-)

bobbie said...

The hawks against that bright, blue sky are wonderful.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

That's alot of photos but I totally understand how that could happen in the excitement. ;-)
Happy Sky Watch!

Shellmo said...

how neat to see all of them flying like that!

The Texican said...

I just love Hawks. Great skywatch photo. Pappy

T.R. said...

What a brilliant photo. That composition is a dream. WOW WOW WOW!!!

me ann my camera said...

How wonderful and magnificent a spectacle this must have been. I always feel excitement when I see a hawk, but to see so many must have been so truly fascinating! Congratulations on such an experience! We is a wonderful skywatch contribution!

We don't have Swainson Hawks in my area but I have seen them in western Canada.

Gill - That British Woman said...

that's a great photo, it must have been amazing.....

Gill in Canada

kjpweb said...

That of course is something to remember and cherish. While I've seen huge flocks of Vultures, I never saw any other bird of prey in numbers! Cool!
Cheers, Klaus

TSannie said...

That would be spectacular to see.

Just read your poem in your header. It's also one of my favorites. "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams go, life is a barren field covered with snow."

Ida said...

Very nice pictures, both of them.
The second shot is BEAUTIFUL! :)
Graceful! :)

Tabib said...

You and Gus were so lucky to witness such event. I never seen such a number of hawk in one location.

Great captured and Happy SW Friday to both of you,

Beth said...

What a thrill that must have been to see so many hawks in motion. Another lovely picture. You make me want to head west.

Wren said...

Great photos, Kathy. I like that you captured a single individual as well as the whole kettle.

Happy skywatch!

Ms. Hays said...

You sure capture a nice Sky Watch Friday photograph!

SandyCarlson said...

Very nicely done, Kathie. God bless.

Denise said...

What a wonderful sight that must have been Kathie. These are superb photos, wish I could have been there to see the spectacle for myself. Gus took some great captures.

Celeste said...

What a sight, one I have yet to see. Great photos as usual, thanks for sharing.

Abraham Lincoln said...

We have large flocks of birds like that here. Ours are a little smaller and mostly black and they are called, Starlings, getting ready to go south to places like Disneyland where they much away on the human droppings.

I have never been able to see a large flock of anything like these you saw. Which is amazing photography.

Deborah Godin said...

Wonderful, Kathie! I love Swainson's hawks, and miss them here in the east!

Kathryn and Ari said...

Wow--I had no idea hawks of any kind did this. Thanks for the great info--and the even better photos!

PS- Your note about your grandfather and Moosehead lake really touched me: what a lovely, sad, bittersweet story. I'll carry it with me everytime we head up north.

Mary said...

Kathie, I'm speechless. Those photos enlarged made my toes curl.

Awesome.

Mary said...

Wow...great shots! Love that individual one that shows the underside so well.

Larry said...

Wow! I tried to stop by a couple of hawkwatches this year-but I've never seen a large grup of hawks like that-Vey cool!