A Sopping Wet Sharp-shinned Hawk In Toronto
One spring, in our local Toronto park, in Ontario, a Sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter striatus) was taking issue with the weather even as a gentle mist continued to settle on the land. The hawk had taken refuge in the top of a local century old maple tree.
This sharp-shinned hawk looked pretty waterlogged, and to make matters worse, a small flock of chickadees, and even a cardinal, kept flying in and around the hawk’s perch, more or less taunting him as he remained flight bound because of his drenched plumage.
It is hard to believe that this pile of feathers is the backside of a Sharp-shinned hawk! He was vainly attempting to dry off his wing and tail feathers, and as we watched, he repeatedly lifted his wings, spread his tail and generally kept shaking off the moisture.
With the continuing drizzle, everything was dripping wet.
We have seen many a Cormorant standing on rocky islands or perched in trees where they hold out their wings to dry them, but never before a sharp-shinned hawk like this one.
I have read that a soggy hawk just like a Cormorant cannot fly with wet wings, so we were very careful not to get too close to this hawk and distract him from the task at hand. We worried that the hawk might hurt itself if it decided to fly before being sufficiently dried out.
It was supposed to clear later that day in Toronto, with the possibility of a little sunshine, I suspect this hawk was very pleased when the sun came out.
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