This morning was my twelfth Christmas morning of birding, it's my way of paying respect to those hardy souls who 112 years ago started this phenomenon call the Christmas Bird Count. Two in Taos NM, Two in Denver and eight in Missouri.
This morning was exceptional as I arrived at White River Trace at 7:30 am to the sight of four Harriers dancing in the sky. In ballet terms it was Tour de force with many well executed chaines, glissade's, pirouette's and other moves that just mesmorized me. I watch the three ballerinas and one cavalier dance in the wind for over 40 minutes and they were so close I did not have to get out of my car to watch the show. Sometimes the three females would form an assemble and glide across the tall grass as if choreographed, it was an amazing show of grace and agility to watch. The male would often just sit on top of a small bush and the females would dance in the sky for him, sometimes diving down and actually touching the male after a long sweeping turn followed by a gliding movement down to where he was sitting, then he would fly away and disappear only to reappear somewhere else as the three ballerinas would again entice him with their dance in the sky.
Through the morning either in my car or walking about I was joined by a Bald Eagle, two Red-tailed hawks, three Red-shouldered hawks, a large female Coopers Hawk and a male Sharp shinned Hawk. Excellent morning for raptors.(Full report on CACHE)
 Mike Doyen
Rolla, MO
Bird by bird I've come to know the earth.
Pablo Neruda.
The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Spring Meeting: April 27, 2012 in Joplin, MO