Yes, I did just make that joke.
It was hard to contain any Twin Cities resident indoors today. After sub zero temps, the weather really warmed up to the twenties and thirties over the weekend and today it got to the low to mid forties--whoot. And we need to gather our rosebuds while we may, because tonight it's rain that turns to ice as the temperature is supposed to plummet to a low of 3--which as coincidence would have it will be our high for tomorrow, with the temps going somewhere in the neighborhood of -14. That's about a 60 degree change in the next twenty-four hours--how do we not a get winter tornado with that?
So, it was take the spring like day while you can. I took a quick jaunt over to the Minnesota Valley NWR. When I arrived, I could hear an angry red squirrel squeaking and general angry bird chips. I wondered if the sharp-shinned hawk was around and dashed behind the Visitor's Center.
Well, it wasn't a sharpie, but a young red-tailed hawk (not the yellow eye and the lack of red in the tail). It was half heartedly preening its feathers and bobbing its head watching was moving below. It was close, but not in the best light.
Some of the birds seemed to sense that they weren't high on the prey item list for this species of hawk and returned to the bird feeder. But, young hawks are unpredictable because they'll try anything once, so birds that did brave the feeders, keep a watchful eye towards the hawk.
I think the red-tail got tired of the squeaky red squirrel and it flew down the hill towards the river--which was great because I could get a photo with a better background. The only problem was that it was facing away from me. So, I did my best whistled impersonation of a red-tailed hawk scream and it looked at me. Great day with a great hawk. And with that, I left it to hunt in peace.