Winter of prey

January 18, 2019

A red-tailed hawk, one of the most recognized birds of prey in North America, seen perched in a dead tree watching for movement in a nearby field, is most often seen hunting along rural highways and busy interstates perched on fence posts and in trees with an intense focus on the grassy areas where a prey animal, like a vole, a mouse or even a cottontail rabbit might make a fatal mistake and show itself. It is not unusual to see a pair of red-tailed hawks perched side-by-side during the winter months prior to the nesting season. This beautiful fast moving white-tailed buck was spooked by hunters who were removing their deer stands for the season from a woods east of Kankakee. The buck was running in obvious fear with its mouth wide open and its tail straight up. A doe not far behind the buck followed in the same direction. In a matter of seconds, the two frightened deer ran across a harvested bean field through a hedge into another field before vanishing into another woods.

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