BC FINALLY GETS A PHOTO-DOCUMENTED RED-SHOULDERED HAWK!!

We went to twitch the Red-shouldered Hawk in Agassiz that Susan Fennellow found the night before. We only had 2 sight records in BC. However, we did not have a photographic record which is required by the BC Bird Records Committee for a new species to be added to their list of birds seen in BC.

This was a long overdue official record for the province. When I left home at 6:15 am the rain was pounding but when we reached Agassiz the sun came out even though it was bitterly cold. It was nice to meet up with many friends and twitchers including those friends I have not seen in a while like Murray Brown, Brian Stech (thank you dear Brian for the delicious Salmon!), Dale Jensen, Aaron Gaffney, Dave Beeke, Ed Klassen, Ken Willis, Bill Beadle, Krissi Martin, John Gordon, John Vooys and many more. 

We arrived at 8:30 am and it took many hours of waiting and birding in place or driving around the nearby fields and roads looking for the hawk which we did too. The birding all around the area was fabulous. We found a male Redhead that no one had seen near where the hawk was first sighted which was cool. At 11:35 am Krissi Martin called me to let me know the Red-shouldered Hawk had just flown back in to the same perch and  texted me her beautiful pics. We came back within 5 mins to see this spectacular bird. I say spectacular because it was an adult with a rich rufous, head, and mantle with a white and black tail and wings. I also heard him do his call. These birds are very vocal and sound nothing like the larger Red-tailed Hawks we are accustomed to.

Adult Red-shouldered Hawk in Agassiz - Photos: Melissa Hafting

We watched him successfully catch and eat a  rat and then pounce for something else near the ducks. We also watched a Peregrine Falcon swoop down and try to grab one of the ducks unsuccessfully.

Red-shouldered Hawk looking at his prey - Photo: Melisa Hafting

Male Redhead in Agassiz- Photo: Melissa Hafting

Anyways after this difficult year with so few opportunities to twitch new BC Birds I was getting scared I wasn't going to get one. I can't remember a year where I did not get a new BC Bird. However, on Dec 13th, 2021, I was rewarded with BC # 442. We celebrated after 5 hours in the cold with a late lunch in Harrison Hot Springs. Thanks again Susan Fennellow for emailing me at the BC RBA about your incredible find!

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