I was riding in the Bean Blossom valley on a cold mid-February day, and even though I had my Ipod in one ear, and there were some guys cutting wood in a field nearby, I clearly heard a hawk call. I stopped my bike and looked around and saw first one buteo, then 2 more circling above the nearby ridge. They made some further vocalization that sound like “kree”, not a red-tail hawk call, but a short crisp sound. I have not heard this hawk before, it could be red-shouldered hawk or broad-winged hawk, I just don’t know. Their wing tips curved up at the very end, and I think they had some white coloring underneath.
They could have been migrants, but it seemed they were hunting, not migrating. That same day I heard my first redwing blackbirds along Shilo Road near Bean Blossom Creek. They are a harbinger of spring, much more so that robins, who often winter her. On my way out of town I ran into some bird watchers who had found a flock of bluebirds in the forest ridge overlooking Kerr Creek, so even though it will be still be cold, the migrations have begun. I am anxiously waiting for a fly over of cranes, I hear and then see them nearly every year.