Episode Information

Sky Dancing - A Rare Sight
BirdNote
Aired:
08/03/2012
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In this episode:

Come along as a group of birdwatchers seek out "sky dancers."

 

Episode Audio

2:00 minutes (1.57 MB)
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Out in the arid West, miles north of Winnemucca, a small caravan of birdwatchers searches for raptors along a distant ridgeline of basalt and sage. Nearby, a circle of green, created by pivot irrigation, attracts Northern Harriers that hunt over fields and marshes. Then, field trip leader Harry Fuller calls out: “We got a male Harrier ‘sky dancing’ over the pivot on the right up here!” In flight, a Northern Harrier is creating a high-amplitude sine wave, rolling on its back, turning like a corkscrew through the air. It’s part of a courtship display. Many raptors perform sky dances, but perhaps none so amazing as the harriers.


 
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