While it might be hard to believe, we are heading into the last week of February very shortly. For those of you that know us, you know this is our absolute favourite time of year and a busy one at that. Sure, our stores keep us busy through the spring months but our real joy is derived from the return of our beloved summer residents.
For some species, it might be a few months before we get a glimpse of them but for others, especially the majestic and large ones. The fact is, raptors such as many of our favourite hawk species have already started to head into the province and there is plenty more to come.
As we prepare for the incoming raptors, we wanted to take the opportunity to put together a few tips to help you not only spot more of these beautiful birds but successfully identify them as well.
Plenty of hawk sightings are made from the ground below as they soar high above us scanning fields and other open areas for their next meal. With this in mind, it is a great idea to take some time familiarizing yourself with the shapes different classifications and species appear as from underneath.
Know Where to Find Them
This is somewhat of a staple for most bird species. Obviously, if you are heading out in search of hawks, you will want to know where you are most likely to find them. These large raptors feed primarily on small mammals such as mice, moles, and other small rodents and can often be found perched along the side of a cornfield or soaring high above a forest clearing.
Learn The Basics
Again, another common practice for general birding identification is learning the basics of a few more popular species. Take a couple of species you know are typically found in the area and study their unique field markings, colouring, wings, head shape, body type and tail structure. These factors will help you both successfully identify them while in flight or while perched on a field edge.