ARTISTS AND BIRDS
by Marilyn and Keith Davis
"To Venture Outdoors"
Just a few
miles from the heart of Dixie, there are treasures
of many kinds. It could be the uplifting
design of mountains by geologic forces. It
could be the ever visible erosion of the earth’s
surface from wind and water. Maybe it’s the
rare and endangered plants that grow here and
nowhere else on earth, or maybe it’s the hot and
dry Mojave Desert that beckons to all life . . .
“come make your home here, if you dare”. . . and
they do. There is always some treasure
you can store in your mind each and every time you
had driven south and east, and then stopped just
above the Arizona boarder where we began walking
toward the Beehive Dome. We were on a hike
to see the Bear Poppy when we spotted two
Sharp-shinned Hawks overhead, carrying nesting
material back and forth to a cliff
formation. The Sharp-shinned Hawk constructs
a stick nest, chooses a remote site and tries to
be secretive about it, in order to stay clear of
larger raptors such as the Cooper’s Hawk,
Peregrine Falcon, and the Northern Goshawk.
Well, they were carrying sticks and this was a
pretty secretive and remote place for a
nest. What great flyers these Hawks were,
and what anticipation to make a home for their
offspring in this harsh desert terrain.
Sharp-shinned Hawks are year-round residents of
Utah. They eat mainly smaller birds, but
also rodents, lizards, frogs, snakes, and
insects. The female is twice the weight of
Rusnell is the artist. This is a color
pencil drawing. If you have questions about
birds or the upcoming Red Cliffs Audubon
activities, call 435 673-0996. Our meetings
are always the second Wednesday of the month and
our field trips are the following Saturday.
The public is welcome.
Remember to join us on our monthly field trips.
Information on time and location can be found here. There is nothing
more fun than a bunch of crazy Southern Utah
birders seeking out local birds. Don't
forget your camera and binoculars!