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Matty

Worst day EVER!!!!

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Not my worst day ever, I actually had a pretty nice hike yesterday and overall I'd have to say the day was pleasant. lol

 

BUT.... I'd have to assume it was the worst day EVER for the squirrel that belonged to the tracks leading up to the spot below, but not away.

 

There was a red-tailed hawk hunting nearby, my guess is he left this "snow angel" when he caught dinner.

 

You can also make out fox tracks in the picture but it's pretty clear he was too late for dinner.

 

squirrels worst day ever.jpg

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Great picture, very cool!  (although not for mr. squirrel)  :up:  

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Those red tail are ruthless..Seen'um in action a few times while sitting up in a tree.... :cupcoffee:

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I thought it was pretty darn cool too.

 

Notice the next wing beat in the snow up ahead too?

 

There was actually a few wing marks, but I realize now you can't see the squirrel prints or the other wing marks in the picture.

 

When I first spotted it from a distance, I thought it was antler marks from a buck digging in the snow for buried food. Was hoping I might find shed number two of the year. As I got closer I realized what it was.

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Those red tail are ruthless..Seen'um in action a few times while sitting up in a tree.... :cupcoffee:

 

Back around 1989 or 1990 when I first started bow-hunting, my Uncle Dave actually had a red-tail land on his bow while he was holding it on his lap up in a treestand. One of the coolest stories ever. I can't even retell it because I just couldn't do it justice. Totally insane!

 

I've had small birds land on me and squirrels and chipmunks run on and under me, but I usually freak out when anything larger than a chickadee starts flying at me. I've had larger birds ALMOST land on me...until they see me spazz out like a mental patient. lol I'm not letting a frigging hawk land on me.

 

I've seen hawks grab squirrels before too. It is extremely neat. They actually seem to miss a lot too though.

 

Maybe a month ago, I saw a huge owl fly out of my treestand tree when I was walking in. Not sure what kind, it was pretty white/grey colored and I thought it had a roundish head/face, but it happened fast. All I know was it was a huge owl. Very cool....If I could have snapped a pic of that it was gorgeous with the snow covered cedar trees in the back ground and the almost snow colored owl.

 

Before I started using electronic calls for predators and would blow mouth calls, I had a fair share of big owls buzz me like bomber planes. Always scared the hell out of me. lol Not that I'm afraid of birds, but I'm afraid of their sharp feet and the speed they are flying at me with. lol 

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Maybe a month ago, I saw a huge owl fly out of my treestand tree when I was walking in. Not sure what kind, it was pretty white/grey colored and I thought it had a roundish head/face, but it happened fast. All I know was it was a huge owl. Very cool....If I could have snapped a pic of that it was gorgeous with the snow covered cedar trees in the back ground and the almost snow colored owl.

 

 

Snowy Owl?    Ive seen a few on there migrations through pa and they are unbelievably big!

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Could have been a barred owl.  I saw one of them stalking my parents' bird feeder this past Christmas.  Thing looked like a monster in the tree and was keenly watching all of the squirrel movement in the area.  I was hoping I'd get to watch it pounce on a tree rat, but I think everyone knew the owl was around.

 

I was also in the woods during bow season minding my own business and hoping to skewer a deer when I caught something coming at me from the corner of my eye.  I put my hand up quickly to block it, and saw this spread of wings air breaking about 3 feet from me.  The critter then flew about 20 feet away and roosted on a tree branch.  I didn't move at all because I didn't want to spook it before I identified it.  After a couple of minutes the thing hopped off its roost and came for my head again.  I put my hand up and moved my head, and it did a 180° turn and flew away.  It looked like a Coopers Hawk, but too small to be one.  At the end of the hunt I looked it up and realized it was a Sharp-shinned hawk.  Very cool bird and looks almost exactly like a Coopers Hawk.  You only see them in the deep woods and they almost exclusively hunt songbirds.  I don't think it was hunting me as much as trying to figure out what I was.  I think once it saw some limbs moving around it decided it had better things to do.

 

But I agree, it's not the bird that I'm afraid of, it's the talons and the subsequent tetanus shot at the hospital that bothers me.

Edited by Haskell_Hunter
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Looking at pictures now. Very well could have been a barred owl. I don't know much of anything about birds, but that's looking the closest so far. 

 

I don't recall it being quite as "snow white and black" as what the snowy owls are looking like in pictures. The color was pretty darn white, but I recall it being a dirty snow color mottled with a greyish and brown coloration. 

 

If I see it again, I'll shoot it so we can ID it positively. I KID I KID! lol

Edited by Matty
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I spend as much time as I can trying to watch and identify birds.  The spring migration through NJ is one of the most spectacular times to get into watching.  The trees aren't heavily covered, and some of the smaller, more colorful birds are easily spotted.  Once full foliage sets in, you have to know what you're looking for in order to catch a glimpse.

 

Watch low ground cover from 5' up to 18' for some great migratory birds.  Some go into much higher timber, but they often times look for lower places to land as a staging around around food sources.

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Sweet pic, Matty.  FYI - when sitting in your stand completely camouflaged and sitting still, accipiter's (sharp-shinned and Cooper's hawks) will key in on your eye movement, hence their flight towards your face/head.  Happens fairly often.  

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I think I've seen more birds this year than ever while hunting.  And what's with the Robins, don't remember seeing them in the middle of the winter here.  They were usually a sign of spring, but they have been around all winter up here. Zone 5.

Edited by Nomad

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Found this today on the lower Pohatcong Creek while meeting with the landowners, my river restoration guru and a federal funding partner on a river restoration project.  With some snow melt and new snow over them, we couldn't tell if coyote or fox.  But it was clearly the end for this mallard drake! 

 

P1000082_zpsed0deb13.jpg

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