Monday, May 12, 2008

Urban Hawks

Over the last week I've seen buzzards circling near home.  Now given that we don't live in the middle of the countryside, that is a little surprising.  I've only seen a single (male?) on two separate occasions, so conceivably it could have been the same bird on both occasions.  I can't help but wonder whereabouts they actually are, given the distance probably they are actually circling over the agricultural fields towards the edge of town, but still they are close enough to see with the naked eye, and close enough to identify through binoculars.  If I have the time next time they are around, I will try and get a little closer to see if I can identify where they are more precisely.  That said I wouldn't be at all surprised if they were actually quite close to town, as it seems that birds of prey are by, far-and-away one of the most adaptable species in terms of living in close proximity to humans.
Probably the most famous of all urban hawks are the Red Tailed Hawks of New York City.  Who I think have probably been been around, nesting close to central park since the mid-1990's.  For more information I suggest visiting either Marie Winn's website (author of Red Tails in Love) or for some absolutely stunning photographs
Urban birds of prey are on the rise in the UK too.  This Guardian newspaper article covers this today.  Closer to my home, you can also see the live cam-feed of the Chichester cathedral peregrine falcons here.

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