Tag Archives: Wildlife

Call of the hawk

When I first heard the hawk’s call, I was biking at a pretty good clip through a long wooded section of the Wild Goose Trail. I glanced up and saw two red-tailed hawks, flying side-by-side just over the trees above me. I kept pedaling, and about 30 seconds later, one of them called again. Looking up, the same two red-tails were following my pace, flying along directly overhead. Another minute or so down the trail, I heard a third call. Sure enough, both hawks were maintaining their flight position above me. I kept on pedaling, but didn’t see or hear them again after that.

Hawk feather laying in the middle of a trail

About an hour and a half later, I was biking through that same wooded section of trail, on the way back to my car. My body was beginning to tire quickly, and I wondered if I had biked a little too far before deciding to turn back. Just as I needed some motivation, there in the middle of the trail was a hawk’s feather. I stopped and decided it was left there for me as a memento of the experience, and I thanked the hawks for their gift (of the feather and their brief companionship). It was all the inspiration I needed to finish my ride.

Bald eagle commute

A photograph I did not take, of a bald eagle flying 20 feet above the Yahara River in Tenney Park.

I spotted the eagle while I was inching along in the middle of heavy traffic on my morning commute. With the lakes frozen, I assumed the eagle was looking for a meal in the still-flowing river. I was so tempted to turn off, park the car, and spend some time wildlife watching. But you’ve got to pay the bills, so I continued on to work. I wonder if anyone else stuck in traffic noticed the majestic raptor in the middle of the city?

Nursing deer

A photograph I did not take, of a mother deer nursing two fawns.

I was bicycling on the Heart of Vilas County Trail and going at a good clip through a section of forest, when I first noticed a woman jogging on the trail a ways ahead of me. As I got closer, I looked in her direction again, and wondered why she had stopped. Then I saw them. Standing on the side of the trail about 10 yards away, were two fawns and their mother. As I hit the brakes hard they squeaked a bit, spooking the three to cross the trail and move off. They only walked about 10 yards further away from us when the mother deer stopped to check on the humans watching. As she stopped, one of the fawns decided it was time for a drink and started to nurse. The other joined in. They drank for a minute or two, and then moved deeper into the woods, out of sight. The woman and I chatted a bit about the wonderful scene we just witnessed. “That is why we vacation in Wisconsin” she said. Absolutely.