Post Content

Marion Larson

Marion Larson

Outreach Coordinator, MassWildlife

View Marion's Bio

Redtail picking at vole

Recently, I was hiking with family around a cranberry bog in Barnstable when we spotted a red-tailed hawk. The bird dove into the plant-filled bog, landed, and then “mantled” over the prey it had successfully caught.  Mantling is when the bird spreads its wings out to protect its prey from other predators—(see the outstretched wings image). The bird then flew to a nearby tree and began to pick at it — only ten yards away from us! 

We were close enough to identify the prey as a vole, take photos, and ensure we didn’t stand in the “drop zone” as pieces of vole were falling away while the bird tore at the carcass.  Within a couple of minutes, the bird swallowed the vole in one gulp and then scanned the area for more prey. We enjoyed every minute of this amazing experience and were so grateful to have been in the right place at the right time!  If you have had a similar “Wild Kingdom or Animal Planet Hunt experience” like this recently, please share it!

Mantling red tail in bog

 

Walking the cranberry bog

 

Written By:

Recent Posts

The View from Massachusetts posted on Sep 17

The View from Massachusetts

While Massachusetts can claim significant success in urban river revitalization, dam removal, cranberry bog naturalization and stream flow restoration, globally there are daunting challenges to restore highly impacted or vanishing ecosystems that will test the acumen of ecologists, engineers and politicians for years to come.

2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: September posted on Sep 12

2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: September

September’s photo contest winner was Gary Kamen, who photographed Mount Warner Vineyard in Hadley. Mount Warner Vineyards is a farm-winery located in Hadley, a small town in the beautiful Pioneer Valley. Operated by Gary and Bobbie Kamen, their philosophy is to recognize the unique characteristics of   …Continue Reading 2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: September

Calling All Shuckers! posted on Sep 3

Calling All Shuckers!

Do you know where the oysters you ate at the raw bar last night were grown? Do you know how oysters are grown? Oysters naturally inhabited the eastern coast dating back to the 1700s, but due to over-harvesting, disease, and habitat loss, wild oysters have   …Continue Reading Calling All Shuckers!