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The Broad-winged Hawk – Recent Kootenay Nester

January 12, 2013
Broad-winged Hawk fledgling

Broad-winged Hawk fledgling

Two Broad-winged Hawk fledglings

Two Broad-winged Hawk fledglings

I was exploring a new trail when two birds flushed from a fir tree overhead: an adult Broad-winged Hawk and a fledgling. I backed away to stand under the trees further away and took out my binoculars.  I saw a large nest with another fledgling at the nest. Wow. Broad-winged Hawks do not nest in the Kootenays – so people said. But this pair was definitely nesting in the Kootenays.  I had seen an adult flying in the general area earlier that summer.   The pair raised those two fledglings and all four birds stayed in the area until they left that autumn.

The next season, two adults returned to the area.   I was lucky enough to watch the pair perform what I can only think were mating displays: flying high, tumbling in flight and calling.  They have a very distinctive, whistle-call.  I was not able to return for a week  and I did not find them again until they returned with two more fledglings later in the summer.   The pair and two fledglings again stayed together at least until they left in early fall.

There was a Red-tailed Hawk around early in the second season.  Was there competition or confrontation between the two species around the old nest?  Was that why the Broad-wings built and moved to a new nest?  Will they return this spring?

All photos and writing in this blog copyright J.A. Siderius 2013.

  1. Susie Hammond permalink

    Herb and I have seen a heron over the last week, both at the mouth of the Little Slocan R. and flying upstream past our place. We have never seen a heron here in the winter. Is this usual? Absolutely love your blog.

    • Thanks Susie – I am enjoying sharing the blog and getting comments. I occasionally see a heron in winter but it is uncommon – maybe it is moving around finding open water in this cold weather?

  2. Great record. Would you consider adding this to the BC Breeding Bird Atlas before it’s published? you can contact us at the website noted below. Many thanks and great find!

    • I will do that Christopher. I did report it to the BC Nesting Scheme but will submit it to the Atlas as well.

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