Broad-winged Hawk

Last Sunday (9/18) was one of those chilly, rainy days that we didn’t have during last year’s hot, dry September and October.  The rain was coming in periodic showers and the temperature climbed only into the mid-60s but I decided to head down to Big Cane and Coon Island Conservation Areas in the flat lands of Butler County anyway. As usual, I was looking for crayfish, which were nowhere to be found. Heck, other than a few frogs and a pair of snakes that some idiot had killed, even the herps weren’t cooperating. 

The highlight of the day was this juvenile Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus) that flew out of the grass alongside the gravel road in the northeastern part of Big Cane. 

Not terribly wary, he let me approach fairly closely and shut off the truck so I could use the camera without worrying about the vibration from the motor. He was even thoughful enough to perch in the open, unobscured by the usual limbs and brush.

It’s getting a bit late in the year and I expect he’ll be be heading south to the tropics soon. ‘Course I suppose he could be a migrant from another area already on his way and just passing through.

Broad-winged Hawk Range Map

Breeding range is shown in orange, wintering range in purple and migration routes in yellow. Broad-wings are year-round residents of Cuba and Puerto Rico.

View Larger Map

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