hawks like pigeons

Observers: Chris McCreedy
Email: cmccreedy atprbodotorg
Date: 01/10/2008
Time: 10:37 PM -0500

I missed the storm, I was down in the Sonoran Desert all week after the Death Valley count. I drove back today, and there was snow down to 5500 feet above the Cottontail Ranch. I was thinking about the storm I heard about and I was thinking, okay, I'm going to see a Rough-legged Hawk in Esmeralda County. I had to focus, because finding birds in Esmeralda County is like looking for chicken tikka masala at Burger King. And then I saw one, a bird on a wire, a Rough-legged Hawk So I was pretty happy with myself. What a prophet. Then I drove over the Palmettos and in to Oasis, and was totally rocked. There is so much snow here. I immediately saw a Ferruginous Hawk perched on a pile of asphalt just north of the Mono County Line, just west of Oasis. It was careful to stay on the Mono side of the line, an outlaw. It flew away. But the next one didn't, see photos. It was sitting on the highway sign across the flatland from Deep Springs College, alone in the snow. I pulled over and walked toward it, and to my amazement, it lit and glided directly at me, and pulled in to the scrub next to the highway. I walked over and I'm in the middle of Deep Springs Valley and there's no one around, just quiet and snow, and this second Ferruginous Hawk is eating a roadkilled rabbit ten feet away from me, pausing occasionally to look up at me with ligaments hanging out of its mouth like lo mein. With an expression that said "you're just a big raven, and this butchered rabbit is mine." I'm not sure if my favorite thing about the pictures is the hawk, or just the fact that there was a foot of snow on the floor of Deep Springs.