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I finally got down to Jeff City to see the Robin roost phenomenon.

Lots of Grackles, Red-wings, tons of Starlings and a serious abundance of
Robins. Saw quite a few Rusty Blackbirds and a flock of Cedar Waxwings also.

I was also interested in the number of Hawks in the area, apparently zeroing
in on the abundance of potential food-items. I saw Coopers, Kestrels and
Red-tails, but most striking was a stunning dark-phase Rough-legged. This
bird confused me at the time - I have only seen pale phase Rough-legs in the
past and when I saw this bird approaching my first thought was of
Zone-tailed. When it turned I saw a bird fitting all the salient points of
Sibley's illustration of an adult, male, dark-phase Rough-legged, but I
didn't see the uppersurface. I think part of my confusion is that there was
also a dark phase Harlan's present, since I also saw a dark-phase Buteo
which lacked the broader blackish band near the end of the tail. Not what I
would have thought of as typical Rough-legged habitat.

Anyway, certainly a spectacle worth viewing. The roosting birds are spread
out over a large area, but the biggest concentrations seemed to be just west
of 179 on W. Edgewood. There is a small parking lot on the south side of
Edgewood at this point.

Chris Corben
[log in to unmask]
www.hoarybat.com

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