A New Year's Day Redtail trip to Nine Acre Corner was a little tardy to find a familiar pair of Red-tailed Hawks at their morning pair perch, but they were right at the main intersection -- the male, just South of Rt. 117 with a Blue Jay chaser.

New Year's Eve talk:
"I'll have a Redtail with a Blue jay chaser, please."
"Don't you think you've had enough sir?"
"Never, keep'em coming!"

New Year's Day also found a familiar female at an alternative location within view of the Nine Acre Corner stop light. She's been in the row of trees just behind the shops NW of the Corner.
On January 6th, a 8:30am visit had a familiar pair in a familiar location -- pair sitting @ Vividon/Sperry/Frost Farm just West of Nine Acre Corner.

While the Old Testament of Hawkwatching still preaches that hawks and eagles from the northern clines separate after the breeding season and agree to "meet at the same time next year" [1/8/04 post to Arlington Birds listserv], it is common knowledge [away from the hilltops and ridges] that Redtail, Roughleg, and Bald Eagle pairs can stay together all year, hundreds of miles from their home territories.

Setting aside the lingering issue of whether a protracted Redtail migration exists in MA and that Redtails from farther North might winter here [!?], myself and others have long observed Roughlegs migrating in pairs on the Great Lakes -- from Derby Hill and Braddock Bay to Duluth. I have personnally observed this and others, who have seen thousands of Roughlegs, concur. In Vermont, I have seen many Roughleg adults pair sitting in February as recently as last Winter [Groundhog Day counts] and this is certainly a fair distance from their breeding grounds. Brian Wheeler's latest volume acknowledges this fact for Redtails and RT pairs have been observed moving by the Barre Falls MA hawk watch late in the Fall. For twenty years, at least, wintering Bald Eagles along the St. Lawrence, Mississippi, Hudson, and Delaware Rivers have been observed exhibiting talon grabbing and other paired behavior.

More Wintertail images ::::::)