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I've been seeing this guy soaring through the neighborhood quite a bit lately. I have a dry wash running right alongside the house, and his favorite spot is right on top this telephone pole, looking straight down along the wash.

Sorry for the picture quality, I was shooting almost straight into the sun on max zoom with a medium-level digital, and Photoshop can only do so much.

He (or she - I saw a pair of them flying around together, only once, about two weeks ago) is really hard to catch in the air. Three times I've seen him going about his business, flying past me as close as 20 feet. It's one hell of an impressive sight - I put the wingspan at a conservative 3 feet, but it could be more - but I couldn't get to the camera in time.

I'm guessing it's a Ferruginous Hawk, but I can't be sure. If so, that three foot estimate for the wingspan is probably way too conservative. In any case, I'd like to offer him an all you can eat pass to my back yard. Those prarie dogs are cute and fun to watch and all, but I don't need quite so many of them.

Edit: What do you know, I was just poking through these links and discovered that them little buggers I've been calling "prairie dogs" are actually Harris's Antelope Ground Squirrels, listed as one of the favorite foods of my Ferruginous Hawk. Learn som'n new every day.


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