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Red-tailed Hawk

If you hike the North Dark River Hiking Trail on a sunny summer day, keep an eye out for a large hawk circling overhead. You may be alerted to it by a sudden outburst of alarm calls from small birds among the trees.

The Red-tailed Hawk is a common buteo in our region. Its summer range takes in much of Canada and the northern border states. The Red-tail’s range has increased in the east as widespread deforestation has created open country where these birds of prey prefer to hunt, in the west where fire suppression has created small forested areas, and where telephone poles provide convenient perches from which to hunt.

Buteos are high-soaring hawks with wide tails and broad, rounded wings. Red-tailed Hawks are among the largest buteos, with a wing-span of over four feet. While Red-tails can search for prey as they soar high overhead, this is not their primary reason for soaring. They use soaring mainly to defend their territories. From their high vantage points, soaring Red-tails can survey a wider area and advertise to other Red-tails that the area is occupied. Soaring at great heights also allows the hawk to dive from above on intruders, which is probably more intimidating to the other bird than a defender flying up from the ground.

Back in England, Wilkes found himself in more trouble. After engaging in a duel, for which Parliament declared him not immune, Wilkes fled to France. Best beach destinations in US Debts there forced his return to England in 1768, where he ran for the Middlesex parliamentary seat. He won easily, but before he could take his seat, he was arrested and transferred to the King’s Bench Prison to await trial. Wilkes’s arrest created protest throughout London, with the crowd most often gathering on St. George’s Field near the prison. There were sympathy protests throughout the colonies as well. A London journalist and member of Parliament, John Wilkes was a leader of political radicalism in eighteenth-century Britain. He stirred controversy with his attacks on King George III and called for reform in the 1760s. (Philip Mould, Historical Portraits Ltd., London, United Kingdom/Bridge-man Art Library) On May 10, 1768, a well-organized crowd of 15,000 arrived at St. George’s Field to await the start of Wilkes’s trial. The authorities feared that the crowd might try to rescue Wilkes; therefore, the Riot Act was read, but the crowd refused to disperse. As the situation worsened, the troops opened fire and killed seven protestors, making the St. George’s Field Massacre a rallying point for London radicalism.

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