Racking up the air miles

Spring really must be com­ing to all you up North.  A couple of days ago we watched the magical flow of hun­dreds of Swainson’s Hawks passing over La Loma on their long jour­ney to tem­per­ate North Amer­ica from Argentina’s pam­pas.  The birds depend on air thermals to facil­it­ate their flight and as a res­ult they steer clear of cross­ing large stretches of water from which air thermals rarely rise. Over the skinny little land bridge of Panama, observ­ers get to wit­ness thick con­cen­tra­tions of these flocks or ‘kettles’. It looks like a few local vul­tures have joined this kettle for a short joy ride.