Sunday, September 23, 2018
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Baby red-tail hawks better than TV

Most days when he’s home, Jerry Meridith can be spotted on his front porch with a pair of binoculars.

After noticing a large nest in the crook of a nearby silver maple in early spring, Meridith began watching the nest.

His vigilance paid off.

On June 1, he noticed movement in the nest and eventually saw four white heads of what he thought were red-tail hawks after seeing a medium-sized hawk perched in nearby trees.

Local biologist Mark Peyton, who works for Central Nebraska Public Power & Irrigation District, identified the mother bird as a Cooper’s hawk which is slightly smaller than a crow.

“It’s one of about 18 different kinds of birds of prey that can be seen in Gothenburg at various times of the year,” Peyton said, noting that the species is protected by law.

Meridith said he’s seen the mother feed her babies mice, noting that a neighbor claims she swooped down and grabbed a robin to feed her babies.