I went hawk watching on Sunday with the Easter Massachusetts Hawk Watch – which is a group of dedicated people who track the migration of hawks in New England in the spring and fall. You can learn more about them here: Hawk Watch Web Site
With binoculars in hand and cameras at the ready, we hung out in parking lot number 1 of Plum Island. We saw a Merlin, a number of American Kestrels and a Northern Harrier Hawk. They are fascinating and I can see why people decided to specialize and study just the predators.
To identify the birds, you need to look at their size, the shape of their head, their wings, their tail, their behavior in flight, patterns of contrast in color, and the color – and you’ve got to catch all this through binoculars as they fly by. In the spring watch the birds are low so it is easier to see them.
I found getting an arial shot off a real challenge and when I found this little guy flitting between the sand and the brush took some shots of him.