Luck of the Irish

I’ve had the pleasure of banding with Declan, a “ringer” from Ireland, here in the USA on a holiday with his wife Maria. The luck of the Irish must have prevailed, because we had a great day. Lots of birds, lots of variety, and a special treat – a broad-winged hawk! We were checking nets and saw the hawk immediately in the lower section. It wasn’t tangled badly and actually was close to escaping. Since we were concentrating on safely removing the hawk, we failed to notice the garter snake entwined in the net. Apparently the hawk had caught the snake and hit the net on its way up to a perch, dropping the snake in the net.
Since we didn’t have a camera with us, we opted to leave the snake (which we assumed was dead) and come back with the camera. We took the hawk to the banding lab to band and photograph. When we returned to the net, the snake was no where in sight. Guess it wasn’t really dead!
Broad-wings are migrating now through this area. This was an immature hawk, and a magnificent creature.

Originally published Tuesday, Sept. 12 – while in blogging limbo….

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