Sunday, November 3, 2013

Goodbye Broad-winged Hawks

The broad-winged hawk, Buteo platypterus, is pale below with brown barring.  The dark tail has a conspicuous wide white band in the middle, with thinner stripes at the base and tip. The wings are light below with brown barring and have a wide dark band on the trailing edge. Click to enlarge. 
Here's a hawk we won't see again until next spring. Broad-winged hawks are long-distance migrants. They leave early, passing Cape May on the way south in September and early October. The one in the photos is probably in South America now, soaking up the southern spring sunshine. Individual broad-winged hawks have been tracked traveling about 70 miles a day during migration for a total of over 4,000 miles.

I took these pictures on a warm spring day in Whitesbog, New Jersey. When the weather gets warm again, the broad-wings will be back.

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