March 6 , 2008
Volume V, No. 17
IMPORTANT: Legislative Calls to Action!
*Please Note: One of the Calls to Action is New.
On Monday, ISVMA issued a Legislative Call to Action on two important bills that were to be heard in committees of the Illinois House of Representatives. We are very pleased to report that our collective lobby efforts have proven successful (thus far).
House Bill 4843 (Veterinary Student Loan Repayment Act)
House Bill 4844 (Animal Euthanasia)
House Bill 4391 (Prohibit Internet Prescribing)
ISVMA Spring Seminar Series - Register Now!
ISVMA is proud to offer another outstanding learning opportunity for veterinary professionals. With support from IDEXX Laboratories, the 2008 ISVMA Spring Seminar Series will be offered in the following locations:
*The 2008 ISVMA Spring Seminar Series is generously sponsored by:
ISVMA Has Moved!
The ISVMA officially moved into its new headquarters on Friday, February 29 and opened the new office on March 3, 2008.
Please remember to update your records with our new contact information:
Silent Auction to Support ISCAVMA
ISCAVMA is holding its annual auction to support students that are attending the SAVMA Symposium and to support a student wide initiative of donating $5000 to Heifer International. To learn more about what Heifer International is all about go to http://www.heiferfoundation.org/.
This year's symposium is being co-hosted by Auburn and Tuskegee Veterinary Schools. Items are available for bidding beginning on March 3rd and ending at 1pm on March 7th. Items can be viewed at iscavma.com, just click on the symposium link. All bids may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your continued support of the veterinary students.
About the Photo
The Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis) is mostly a western North American species. They are found in the Great Basin and Great Plains. They breed from eastern Washington to southern Alberta and southern Saskatchewan, Canada, south to eastern Oregon, Nevada, northern and southeastern Arizona, northern New Mexico, northwest Texas, western Nebraska, western Kansas, and western Oklahoma. They winter across the southwest to Baja California and central Mexico. They may show up in the southeast during migration and are occasional vagrants elsewhere. I have only seen one Ferruginous Hawk in Illinois in my years of birding.
This hawk is the largest buteo in North America averaging 22.5-25" long, with a 53-56" wingspan. The sexes are alike; females average just a bit larger than males. Two color morphs occur, with intermediates. The light morph has a rust colored back and shoulders, paler head that is grayish and streaked, its white tail has pale rust wash on end, the undersides are white with limited streaking and it has rusty spots (the leg feathers are rust colored on adults and white on juveniles). Large, white crescent-shaped patches occur on the upperwing surface on the primaries. Beneath the wing, large dark comma-shaped patches occur at the wrists. In the dark morph, the entire head and body and wing surfaces are dark brown to cinnamon-colored, the yellow gape (mouth) stripe is visible, and the upper surface of wing at the base of the primaries shows the white "window", similar to light morphs.
Light morph Red-tailed Hawks can be confused with Ferruginous Hawks; but the Red-tailed Hawk typically has a belly band, patagial mark, different tail pattern and lacks rufous leggings. The white-chested appearance is otherwise distinctive. Dark morph adults are separated from other dark morph buteos by pale, unmarked flight feathers, white comma in underwing coverts, dark undertail coverts and tail pattern. The feathered legs are shared only by Rough-legged Hawk but are difficult to see well.
Ferruginous Hawks are birds of open country. They occur in semiarid grasslands with scattered trees, rocky mounds or outcrops, and shallow canyons that overlook open valleys. They may occur along streams or in agricultural areas in migration.
Ferruginous Hawks rely primarily upon rodents found in their grassland ecosystems. Prey includes Richardson's ground squirrels, white-tailed jackrabbits, black-tailed jackrabbits, ground squirrels, pocket gophers, prairie dogs, and kangaroo rats. Other prey includes snakes, lizards, meadowlarks, grasshoppers, and crickets.
They tend to hunt in early morning or late afternoon and hunt in four fashions: short distance strikes on prey from the ground, aerial hunting from low altitudes, aerial strikes from high altitudes (300 feet), and flying after prey from a perch. Hunting from the ground appears to be the more successful of the four methods. Since these birds inhabit open country, they can stand by a burrow and wait for prey to appear.
Like many raptors, they swallow prey whole or torn into chunks. The Ferruginous Hawk then regurgitates a pellet of fur, feathers, bone, and other non-digestible material.
Ferruginous Hawks may nest in close proximity to each other, less than 1/2 mile away. Other species, like Swainson's hawks or red-tailed hawks, may nest in closer proximity to Ferruginous Hawks than the 1/2 mile distance. Nesting territories may have a number of alternate nests in close proximity that are used in different years.
Populations of Ferruginous Hawks seem to have declined in most areas over their range, except in California where they appear to have increased significantly in the past decade. The Ferruginous Hawk is a federal Species of Concern.
One of my favorite birding memories involved the first Ferruginous Hawk that I ever saw (in Colorado). I stopped on a country road to get a good look at the beautiful raptor as it sat in a shallow culvert at the side of the road. There were numerous Red-winged Blackbirds and Yellow-headed Blackbirds in the same area and they were making quite a scene as they made alarm calls and occasional brave blackbirds dove at the hawk. Finally tiring of its inhospitable perch, the Ferruginous Hawk took off to find a quieter spot from which to hunt. As it flew away, a Yellow-headed Blackbird flew towards it and landed on its back! I saw the hawk fly out of sight with the brave blackbird as its passenger.
I photographed this Ferruginous Hawk (not the taxi hawk) near Buckeye, Arizona during the winter of 2007.
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