|The magnificent Hawk|
Lo and behold, the entire field was full of Hawks blending with the grasses…. all gathered calmly as if at an outdoor market. The blue sky began to fill with Hawks who were circling to land as though they had been telepathically summoned by those already attending the sit-in. Soon their numbers reached a hundred or more, all waiting patiently for some internal signal.
All at once they began to take flight and Hawks from adjacent fields joined them. As we watched in amazement hundreds of Hawks began the phenomenon bird watchers refer to as ‘kettling‘.
‘Kettle’ is the term used to describe the graceful acrobatic wheeling performed by a large flock that is beginning migration. Kettling birds catch a warm thermal updraft and begin swirling in a circular motion, going higher and higher as more birds join the wondrous dance... they literally floated with a quiet, graceful, and steady movement of feathered flight. It was mid-afternoon and the sight was beautiful as the light caught the underside of their wings. They continued ever-upward until the first birds appeared only as small dark specks in the blue sky. And then, as suddenly as they had appeared, they were gone. They will go South now and not return until spring.
The Turkey Vultures retain the habit of kettling as well so take note of them… we saw forty kettle on Saturday and it too was a wondrous sight of graceful slow-flight. Sometimes happenchance will provide a delightful surprise if one is simply at the right place at the right time! We feel incredibly blessed to witness such rare and wondrous sights. Both the Vultures and Hawks will continue to kettle for several weeks… perhaps, just maybe, you will be able to see one.
|Their light underside feathers shimmered in the sun light.|