A Hawk in the Hand

It’s been an awesome couple of days in northeast Costa Rica. The skies are clear, and Ed and I have been able to admire the Southern Cross as Ivan, our boatman, ferries us along the canal to our banding sites before sunrise each morning. Finally, we’re heading into the dry season.

Mid-morning today, we were just finishing a net run at Tortuga Lodge when we startled a Semiplumbeous Hawk from the ground next to one of our mist nets. Incredibly, the hawk swerved straight into the nylon mesh, and Ed and I simultaneously pounced before it could struggle free. What a catch! The hawk was too large for any of our leg bands (it takes a size 6, if you’re curious), and stood more than a foot tall. This was the first raptor we’ve caught in more than a month of banding here, and we were lucky enough to see it, much less catch one. Nice!

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