The Birds of Kansas

As many of you know, Kansas is not our most scenic state. Traveling west, there is a 50 mile section of small elevation variances that are called the Flint Hills. After that, it is FLAT all the way into Denver. But this lack of rolling terrain has its advantages. One is its popularity for bird migrations…One of the photos above shows a migration of Canadian Geese, headed north…While impressive, the photo doesn’t show that this flock was one of seven or eight, flying parallel to each other across a five-mile sky. I shot the pic from my phone while driving. I’ve always thought that Canadian Geese are majestic to see in flight, but a whole sky of them was incredible!!!

Most of the land out here is large tracts of ranch and farm land. The plots are marked by wire fences. Amazingly, for a couple hundred miles, there would be a hawk sitting on a fence post. I’d see one about every two miles. I wondered to myself why they were there ?? After all, it was the middle of winter and these guys were just perched in 30 degree weather. So I got on-line that night and looked up “the hawks of Kansas on fenceposts.” There was a lot of reading material and I found a photo to share. The posts said that these raptors, primarily redtailed hawks, actually had migrated from further north. They sit on the posts because the land is so flat that they don’t have to put out the energy to soar above while searching for prey. They can sit on the post, and use their eyesight to hunt. And so, the monotony of the Kansas flatlands was broken up by searching for the next hawk on a post, looking majestic on this crisp winter day.  This is why I am here…To see the totally unexpected that only nature can provide.

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