From Iowa, Ohio and Esko

While I was away for a few days, bird photos came in from several correspondents. Thank you!
Let’s start in Iowa, where Kim and Kevin Gerety report a late invasion of common redpolls. They had as many as 60-70 redpolls, although most of that group seems to have moved on.
Here’s a picture from a big redpoll day:

That’s a lot of redpolls.

Kim and Kevin also report a pair of kestrels showing interest in a nesting box on the south side of their pasture.
Although most other birds don’t seem bothered by the kestrels, starlings seem to be terrified of them, Kim writes. “They are doing a great job of keeping the starlings away.”
This picture was taken on a snowy evening when the kestrels decided to use a swallow platform to roost for the night.

“We found them there the next morning, yet,” Kim writes. “This is about 50 feet from the back door and even when we let the dog out, they did not flee.”

In Esko, Jim Jensen caught these pictures of a raptor that grabbed a chickadee:

At first Jim thought it was a shrike, but on further review thinks it might have been a sharp-shinned hawk or a merlin.
The Jensens also have seen a northern goshawk, a great gray owl and a barred owl come through.

Finally, from Zanesville, Ohio, Karl Riggle offers this shot of a rufus-sided towhee:

The towhee arrives in early spring and stays around all summer, scratching on the ground like a chicken, Karl writes.

I was visiting my parents in Estherville, Iowa, for a few days. It was chilly, but most of the snow was gone, and robins had fully arrived.
During a walk on Wednesday evening, I saw 17 or 18 raptors circling over a ravine. I watched for about a minute before they abruptly disappeared from view. They had been quite low over the trees.
They might have been sharp-shinned hawks. Or not.
Maybe I’ll see them again, circling over West Duluth.

Your bird photos and stories extremely welcome at: jlundy@duluthnews.com.

2 thoughts on “From Iowa, Ohio and Esko

  1. The bird in the 3rd picture is definitely an accipiter. I assume a Sharp-shinned Hawk. My wife and I have seen sharp-shinneds at our feeder for the last 2 days (happily for us the bird didn’t get a meal). I was lucky to get a good photo.

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