Rough-legged Hawks in Hillsborough Twp.
6 Rough-legged Hawks were seen this morning at Duke Farms (Jeff Ellerbusch). The raptor excitement appears to be subsiding a bit (9 is the most seen at one time this week at Duke Farms) but that is still an outstanding number. Add this to the many Northern Harriers and Red-tailed Hawks that are present and you have an impressive concentration of raptors. The fields at Duke Farms are well stocked with food to support all the predators, or, as Frank Sencher, Jr. said: “I wouldn’t want to be a Meadow Vole here.”
Out on the Ice
Budd Lake is thoroughly frozen and covered with snow as are all the northwestern Morris lakes. A drive to the municipal beach this afternoon showed one ice fisherman preparing a fishing hole. The following scenario was also occurring. Out on the frozen lake surface, far from any disturbances and one of the only living creatures on the ice besides the fisherman, was a Red-tailed Hawk, intently eating prey (click on the photo for a larger image).
To the Red-tailed Hawk’s right (the viewer’s left) stood a Peregrine Falcon, eyeing the hawk for the entire time this observer was present at the scene. Was the Peregrine waiting for an opportunity to seize a meal? Or had the Red-tailed Hawk pirated a prey item from the Peregrine?
Other Field Notes
3 Redheads continue at Clyde Potts Reservoir, Mendham Twp. Only 8 Canada Geese and 9 Common Mergansers were with the Redheads as the ice advances, steadily solidifying the remaining open water at the reservoir. In January, over 1,000 Canada Geese were regularly found here.
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