North Dakota has a bit more breathing room than Nebraska where prairie is concerned. I saw more ferruginous hawks on this June visit than I'd seen in my whole life. One pair was set up on a powerline support, complete with fuzzy young. You'll have to take my word for it; we were a respectful distance away. The nest is the bunch of sticks to the right.
Mom wasn't thrilled to see us ogling her young.
What gorgeous birds they are, so pale. The tail is nearly white with a pinkish cast; the dark red striped thighs and legs are feathered to the toes, and make a dark vee against the white belly. Close up, the ferruginous hawk has an enormous yellow grin line along the gape that's reminiscent of a golden eagle's. Those features, and their enormous size (they're North America's largest buteo), add up to one thing in my view. This is the American hawk-eagle, the prairie hawk- eagle.
Dad Ferrug. is quite a bit more slender and gracile than his burly mate. How about those gorgeous black tips on the underwing coverts?
Today, I am trimming shrubs and trees and cleaning my car on a fine hot summer's day. Not that it needed it. It is a mouse warren, a straw fest, haven for candy wrappers and Dum-Dums at one with the carpet. The floor mats are so bad I'm just hosing them down, carpet or no. I'm vacuuming and Windexing and Chet is lying under the car in the shade keeping me company. About to load the kids in it once again and take off (via plane) for a family reunion in Colorado. Bill will have been home from his Big Trip oh, about 18 hours when I leave, probably all of that spent in sleeping. He's holding down the fort this time. Wish us uncancelled flights, please, flights that actually get you where you paid to go when you want to get there. I wouldn't mind not seeing an airport for a long, long time after this, and my last trip to RI at the end of July. I think the air travel system has broken down, crushed under the price of oil, but nobody wants to admit it.
I'm sure there's enough gas and oil under the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to fix it, don't you? Let's drill, how about? November, November, November, November...