It is May Day and raining lightly outdoors... perfect time to be transplanting those perennials I have been hoping to divide and put about the gardens. Instead I am here transplanting photos of this beautiful raptor to these pages. One of the great things about being a farmer or gardener is the environment one is planted in, and having a large sky above open and shrubby fields, before a forest is ideal for eyeing soaring Buteos. It seems we have a pair living here, from the courtship display high in the sky, and my sighting them flying together many times, when I did not have my camera. I hope they like rabbits! I know from research hawks delight in dining on voles. They are welcome to the little varmints here that feast on my iris, and perhaps are also the critters who near girdled my lovely Japanese maple this winter. Perhaps that is what the precious one was looking out for perched in the rock maple giving me a beauty of a shot. These pictures were taken on different days over the last couple of weeks... I think they are all the same buteo or cousins at least, but just maybe the ones that now seem to be residing here at Flower Hill Farm. I know too they may devour the other nesting birds here but hopefully more tasty prey will present themselves... less bony with more meat of the four legged rodent variety. The broad-winged hawks are unusual in that they migrate in large flocks or "kettles". I had the great chance one fall day to see hundreds of them fly right above me and one by one coming in a straight line go up and catch a thermal current right above the southern face of the garden. It was thrilling! An odd post for May Day so I will have to do another with garden and blooms a plenty. It just seems this is a perfect story all to itself... a raptor tale and this one has equal sized bold white and black along its real tail... a feature that helps to identify it, as it is so close in appearance though smaller to the Red-Shouldered hawk. (It seems that I have images here of both hawks. There is one high in the clouds that I was able to reach a view of its red shoulders.) To fly high in the clouds and over the flowering tree tops with Buteo platypterus seems a good enough way to move into May. Happy May Day!