Published: Sep 06, 2008 08:32 PM
Modified: Sep 06, 2008 08:32 PM
Change is in the air -- literally
Politics aside, there is an atmosphere of change in the air. Every year the weather changes, the light changes, the trees change colors and fawns lose their spots, but one of my favorite changes comes in the air -- the fall migration of birds. None are more striking in their migration than the birds of prey. Raptors from the northeastern region of the United States pour southward, many cutting through North Carolina on their way to their winter homes. From the tiniest falcon (the American kestrel, sometimes called the sparrow hawk) seen this time of year on telephone lines waiting to swoop on an unsuspecting grasshopper, to the harrier or marsh hawk seen deftly cruising low across freshly cut corn fields searching for mice, migrating raptors are always a thrill to see.The third weekend in September is usually peak migration date at Pilot Mountain. It is truly awe-inspiring to watch hundreds of hawks glide effortlessly on their long journey along the Appalachians.Be mindful that hawks dive with a singular purpose to pounce on roadside rodents, and their laser beam concentration ignores oncoming vehicles, resulting in many collisions at this time of year. If you find an injured hawk or wild animal call Piedmont Wildlife Center 572-9453 before picking it up. Thanks, and enjoy the change in the air!
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2008 The Chapel Hill News