Rough-legged Hawk - Cross Path Road, Hadley, Hampshire Co., MA. January 28th, 2012
News of a couple of Rough-legged Hawks in Hadley provided a convenient excuse for a 'shopping' trip to the Hadley Mall, and a shot at one of the Rough-legs en route. It worked like a charm. After turning north off busy Route 9, no sooner had we entered cross path road than we found a Rough-legged Hawk sitting atop a power pole right over the road! We parked carefully, and cautiously got out of the car to scope it trying hard not to flush the bird in the process. Such caution seemed a bit over-exaggerated when a pedestrian walked right under the bird which gave nothing more than a cursory glance and seemed quite unconcerned. Having just witnessed how approachable the bird might be, I took my chances and walked along the berm for stunning looks at this smart, northern buteo. Not only the most approachable Rough-legged Hawk I've seen, but perhaps the most approachable raptor I've come across anywhere! It showed no signs of discomfort at all as I stood there and happily snapped a few pics. What a treat.....and just thirty minutes from home.