by Marilyn and Keith Davis

"Weather or Not"

"Golden Eagle"

golden eagle
        We used to lived up north where it was necessary to plan the next day around the weather. Bad weather with slippery roads meant more commute time going to work, what clothes to wear, and even what vehicle and tires to purchase. What a wonderful time we live in. If we want to know what the weather is going to be like tomorrow, we can switch on the radio, we can go to the internet, or we can turn on television. There is even a special weather channel just for weather addicts.

        Humans are not the only species obsessed with the weather. Raptors, like Eagles, Hawks, and Falcons have a keen sense and understanding of weather. They have to in order to migrate hundreds and thousands of miles each season. Many first year Raptors leave the breeding grounds before their parents on their migration. Without direction from their parents the young raptors pick correct travel routes and look for favorable weather conditions. Some Raptors soar their way south with their wide wings by riding on a warm thermal of air. Others have ‘powered flights’ where they move by constant flapping of wings. All Raptors are constantly on the lookout for strong wind fronts that are headed their way.

        This time of year Raptors are on the move heading north. It’s breeding time. There are many sites across the US where it is possible to see hundreds or even thousands of Raptors flying by in a single day.

        The next time your husband says he wants to stay up and watch the weather, don’t consider him wacky, maybe in the next life he will come back as a Raptor.

        Brenda Rusnell is the artist of the Golden Eagle painted with color pencils. If you have questions about migration, birds, or the next Red Cliffs Audubon General Meeting or Field Trip, call 435 673-0996. Public is welcome.

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