Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 08/29/2016

Photo taken on August 28, 2016

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Anne Elliott
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Swainson's Hawk
Buteo swainsoni
front/side view
© Anne Elliott 2016
mate is dark-phase
bird of prey
street light
28 August 2016

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Swainson's Hawk male, light phase

Swainson's Hawk male, light phase
Unfortunately, a very grainy photo because of looking up towards a very overcast sky. I'm posting mainly as a record of this encounter that I had yesterday, 28 August 2016. Photo of the dark-phase female is in a comment box below.

The meeting place for yesterday's morning walk was just a few minutes away form home, so I drove my dying car and was finally able to get out for a few hours, after a week at home. We carpooled to the east end of Fish Creek Provincial Park, covering Mallard Point, Bow Valley Ranche area and then walking east to, and along, the Bow River. Birds seen included American White Pelicans, Double-crested Cormorants, Sharp-shinned Hawk and Cooper's Hawk, Swainson's Hawk, Osprey and a variety of small birds and waterfowl, almost all very distant.

We ended up at the Ranche at lunchtime - a few people continued into the afternoon, but friend, Tony, who had driven me to stopping places in the morning, and I, left to go home. First though, we drove to check on a pair of Swainson's Hawks with one youngster. These were the Hawks that had dive-bombed me three times in the two minutes maximum that I was there on 1 August 2016! Needless to say, I didn't feel at all comfortable being near them again, but all went well. The Hawk in this photo is the male, a light-phased individual - we had to walk right underneath it. Its mate is a dark-phased bird, and I'll post a grainy photo of her, soon. It would be interesting to see what colour the young one turns into as it gets older.

The following link (thanks, Tony) leads to an interesting article about the different colour phases of Swainson's Hawks. Apparently, only about 10% of the world Swainson’s Hawk population are dark types, the other 90% is made up of light and intermediate types.

Thanks so much for the birding walk, Terry, and thanks, Tony, for giving me a ride!

I have to keep an eye on the time as today is THE day, lol. I finally pick up my new vehicle and then will be able to drive more than five or ten minutes from home! Have to collect my old winter tires from storage first and then make my very noisy way to where my new car will be waiting for me. Can't say I look forward to learning the controls, though, as there is a huge difference between a 17-year-old (1999) car and a new one, but it will feel wonderful to once again be mobile after three weeks of basically staying home. Feeling very thankful!