by Barbara Walvoord
First published in Lathrop Lamp Post, Dec. 2-8, 2017
A few weeks, ago, I wrote about barred owls, who stay put here in winter, rather than migrating. Another bird that stays put in our neck of the woods is the red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis). It can stay put because it eats mammals who also stay put during winter, like chipmunks, rabbits, mice, voles, snakes, and birds. But even with the abundance of prey that Lathrop land offers, a red-tail has many problems to solve, and more than half of healthy fledglings fail to reach adulthood.
First problem: FIND the prey. Red-tails hunt by perching and pouncing. A hawk has to know that a perch on a pole over a parking lot is less productive than an open field. A bird feeder is a wonderful Continue reading Staying Put at Lathrop: Red Tailed Hawks