That time of year

It looks like it is finally that time of year.  The time of year of which I speak is the time of year when raptors that migrate south for the winter begin to return to the north east United States.  This is one of my favorite times of year.  One of my favorite and most sought after subjects for my photography are birds of prey.

Over the past few weeks the broad winged hawks that are normally active in our woods have returned.  I can year their calls on a fairly regular basis.  Their familiar screech is quite noticeable out in the country when there are few other sounds.  I have seen them circling the woods, streaking over my house, and soaring high overhead.  I have been fortunate enough to see multiple broad wings flying through the same patch of sky.  Hopefully one pair will choose our woods to nest in.

There are generally bald eagles to be seen in this area as well.  Last week I saw my first bald eagle of the spring season as I was driving down the highway on my way home.  They are often seen over the highway because it intersects so many waterways in the area.

Today I saw my first osprey of the year.  I was so excited to see one that I took a detour from my original drive home route so that I could watch it longer and maybe observe some hunting behavior.  I drove over the bridge to cross the river watching the osprey all the while.  I saw it raise up and hover in one spot while it rapidly flapped its wings.  This is sometimes a sign it has spotted some prey and is about to dive down into the water to catch it.  I was not able to keep the osprey in sight long enough to see if it dove for prey.

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