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A Kettle of Hawks

Marvin Collins

Fulton, United States

Artist's Description

Captured in Marana AZ this morning 8/19/12. I watched them for a long time, hoping that they would come closer. They were at quite a distance, but still quite a sight for me. As far as I could tell from the distance these were all Swainson’s Hawks. There were about 50-75 hawks in this kettle.
Migrating hawks sometimes form kettles, or groups, that will swirl in small flocks overhead.
Hawks swirling in a kettle are actually circling tightly in an air thermal.
When a kettle of birds is tightly circling in a thermal, they look from a distance like something boiling in a cauldron, which may explain the origin of the word kettle to describe a thermaling flock.
Thermals are what the hawks rely on to assist them on their traditional migratory pathways, which are determined by both geography and weather patterns.

All Products Tags

hawks swainsons

Artwork Comments

  • Ellen van Deelen
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