TAKE OFF

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With a powerful thrust of energy, this red-tailed hawk stretches out her wings to take flight. She sees her mate about a hundred yards away in another grove of trees and goes to join him. Rather romantic, isn’t it! After taking turns guarding their nest, it’s time to hunt for today’s meal. We have an abundance of these hawks throughout the Midwest United States. They can be seen in groups circling high and low in the sky in search of prey or mates (depending on the time of year).

 

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They are a graceful predatory bird and a fierce defender of their nests. These hawks usually mate for life and can live up to thirty years. They have adapted well to human habitat and are often seen sitting atop descriptive road signs only a few yards from the highway’s speeding traffic. One can see why birds have been used as models for airplane designs as they were created to ride the wind most efficiently. I especially like it when they catch thermal uplifts and glide without effort for what seems like hours.