Monday, March 19, 2007

Weird Birds of the Weekend

While driving through snow on Saturday morning (and watching careless drivers spin out on the icy overpasses) we chanced upon this Roadside Hawk near Canal Winchester, Ohio. This certainly must be the first state record for Ohio for this species. We also took its nest building as proof of breeding, so we'll send this record into the Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas, too.

Just in case you don't believe us, here's proof that it was by a roadside. This bird was large enough to qualify as a Giant Thing here at BOTB.

It's clearly a hawk. It's on the roadside. Roadside hawk. What else could it be?

Later that day, Zick and I were giving our "Music of the Birds" program at Aullwood Audubon Center near Dayton, Ohio. Our Canadian pals Rondeau Ric and Anne came to hear us and to do a bit of birding. Ric photographed this male northern cardinal at the Aullwood feeders. Clearly this fellow's been through a lot. Losing his head feathers to mites. Getting trapped in a mist net and banded (see color bands on his near leg).

These trials and tribulations did not seem to affect his appetite, however.

Photo by Rondeau Ric

Our evening performance at Aullwood went well. The audience was enthusiastic and Tom Hissong and the good folks on the Aullwood staff made us feel right at home. It's a wonderful nature center with plenty to do and see. If you have the chance to visit Aullwood, which is just north of I-70 on Dayton's west side, don't miss it.

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At 2:33 PM, Anonymous Dea said...

Thanks for the post, Bill.

Question, if I may: Do birds such as this cardinal ordinarily recover from such mite attacks? Or are they usually fatal?


At 2:45 PM, Blogger BT3 said...


The feather mite infestations that make cardinals bald look a lot worse than they really are (due to the cardinal's surprisingly dark head skin). The head feathers will return with the next molt and the bird should be fine.

The reason the infestations occur on the head is: it's the only place a bird cannot preen itself!

At 2:51 PM, Blogger Rondeau Ric said...

You actually had me with the hawk, I was thinking , WOW super pic. Great timing.

Some how, some where there will be pay back. ;-)

At 3:48 PM, Blogger Hammer_Chick said...

Is there a state records committee for Giant Things?

At 5:24 PM, Blogger BT3 said...

Ric: If you want to borrow the photo for the Ontario Records Committee, feel free!

Hammer Chick: Yes, the head of the Giant Things Records Committee is Jim McCormac, Ohio's own Incredible Birding Hulk.

At 9:01 PM, Anonymous [email protected] said...

Now, that is something you don't see every day! Large hawk and a feather mite infested cardinal! Great job BT3

At 9:09 PM, Blogger Julie Zickefoose said...

Jimmy Mac, you gonna let that go unanswered, O He Who Never Comments?

At 8:30 PM, Blogger wolffpack said...

not a Roadside hawk. Just cause it's near the road, doesn't mean it's a roadside hawk.

At 2:07 AM, Anonymous Flu-Bird said...

Somewhere in WISCONON is a giant fiberglass loon


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