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Subject:Mystery hawk at Sherburne NWR
From:Betsy Beneke <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Betsy Beneke <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 11 Mar 2011 15:15:11 -0800

One of our maintenance guys reported a possible Swainson's hawk at Sherburne 
today, saying it had been around since Tuesday.  Our biologist saw it and 
thought that's what it was too - but she doesn't have a lot of experience with 
this species.  I went looking early in the afternoon and couldn't find it, but 
on the way home late this afternoon saw a couple of hawks soaring at a long 
distance.  One was very obviously a red-tailed, but the other one was a 
different shape - very Swainson's-looking to me, but I could only see silhouette 
and no color at all, so that's just a guess.  Swainson's were common where I 
lived in Utah.  It has the right shape (in silhouette), but I know it can be 
deceiving as well, especially today with the winds we had, and terrible light.

SO, if anyone is driving along County Roads 5 or 9 (the NW part of the refuge) 
over the weekend, please watch - see if you can help us out.  There are quite a 
few red-tailed hawks in the area as well, and one is very light - no obvious 
belly band of any kind, makes you look twice.   I also saw the refuge's first 
spring kestrel on the way home tonight.

Where are the bluebirds?

Betsy Beneke
Sherburne NWR and Avon, Stearns Co.


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