Tuesday, September 21, 2010


In the Minnesota arrowhead, September is the key month for migrating hawks.
Also, impressive numbers of migrating Blue Jays are being seen all along the North Shore, including a record-high count of 7,612 on the 14th at Hawk Ridge in Duluth.

Broad-winged Hawk

American Kestrel

Red-tailed Hawk

Cooper's Hawk

The migrating Blue Jays are not only impressive in numbers, but impressive in their degree of handsomeness. I enjoy photographing "His Blueness" this time of the year, as each jay has perfect feathers. These long distant, deep woods jays are in flocks numbering in the teens, to the hundreds... it is quite a sight to see as they pass over my ridge.

Blue Jay

I am entertained by their antics around the invading, small Accipiter hawks. Unlike my little birds, the chickadees and RbNuthatches who chant their robotic chirps and then hide in the trees... the robust Blue Jays taunt the Sharpies and Cooper's. The hawks dive at the jays and they hop or fly out of the way... at times, they sit above or around the hawks in the trees and pretty much drive them nuts. The one pictured in this series was worn out by a morning of chasing the elusive Blue Jay.

Sharp-shinned Hawk

At this date, 35,396 hawks, Merlins, falcons, eagles and Turkey Vultures have flown over Duluth and Hawk Ridge.