[Tweeters] How to attract Northern Harriers

Rob Sandelin floriferous at msn.com
Fri Dec 31 18:22:02 PST 2004


I was out in North Creek Park today, south of Mill Creek. As I slowly walked
along the boardwalk a motion caught my eye. It was a slow moving Townsends
Vole. I crouched down and the vole walked up to me, so I grabbed it,
carefully holding it by the skin behind the neck so it would not bite me. I
was cursing myself that I did not have my camera and then I decided to bring
the little fellow home for a wild new years eve (for him) shoot pictures
tommorrow then return him home news year day. As I walked back to my car,
lost in thought of how I could get my new furry friend home I heard a very
high pitched sound, which was coming from the vole! A few moments later,
from out of nowhere, a northern harrier popped up out of the grass and flew
close overhead, then banked, followed the edge of the boardwalk, then turned
back. Just then the vole "shrieked" again and the harrier came right over
head. It closely banked again, doubled back and came as close to me as I
think I have ever been to that particular hawk.  I was concerned that the
hawk might actually snatch the little morsel from my hand, so I put it in my
pants pocket. (thank goodness for cargo pockets).  I am glad nobody asked me
why I was walking funny, holding my pants pocket top as I went back to the
car. Fortunately a naturalist always has containers of all sizes in the car
for just such situations.

Rob Sandelin
Naturalist, Writer, teacher

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