With life lists and big days, it can be easy to forget the simple joy of watching birds just doing their thing. Here's a moment in the life of a Swainson's Hawk pair, brought to us by Steve Poole:

I was driving Spring gulch on Friday when I spotted this pair of Swainson’s sitting on the gate posts next to the roadway. I stopped and watched as they preened, stretched and observed the field in front of us. Soon one, then the other, flew into the grass not far from the fence and hopped in the grass and irrigation water flowing across the field. I just learned that after the mating season their diet consists mainly of insects (Cornell Ornithology). I pulled my car up closer to the gate so I could observe them better on the ground. After just a moment of me parked near the gate the male hawk flew right back to the gate post 6 feet above my head! I thought for a moment he might just fly right into my sunroof. Think he was looking for a ride to Argentina for the winter.

Steve

Relax while you can, dear hawks, you have a long migration ahead!

Have your own Feathered Tales to tell? Send your stories and photos to raptors@tetonraptorcenter.org!

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