We Now Know What’s In the Trees Along This Busy Minnesota Highway
I was hiking in the woods near our house when I spotted it up in the trees along a busy highway here in southeast Minnesota.
Being a big fan of nature and wildlife, I'm fascinated by the various species of critters that happen by the woods behind our house in northwest Rochester. We've seen the usual deer, raccoons, skunks, rabbits, and even a fox.
We have a lot of birds too. Everything from the common robins and blue jays to grackles, sparrows, chickadees, and mourning doves, just to name a few. We have a couple of cardinals that stop by our feeder from time to time too, and we've heard the familiar hoot of a couple of great horned owls at night, as well.
We've even seen a few majestic bald eagles soaring high above the woods and nearby prairie and pond not too far from our property. So when I spotted this big nest way up in some trees along Highway-14 (okay, my wife actually spotted it first), I thought it might be an eagle's nest.
There was quite the commotion in Rochester last spring when an eagle's nest was spotted along West River Road, so I thought this might be one, as well. However, after doing a little more research on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website, I'm pretty sure that nest actually belongs to a pair of red-tailed hawks.
We've seen several hawks circling overhead while out in our backyard, and have even seen one perched on the shrub in front of our house, hunting songbirds that gathered at our feeder. But when I went to get a closer look the other day, there, in fact, was another hawk, flying high above and circling me (and making that familiar high-pitched scream) as I walked closer to the tree where the nest is located.
Not wanting to get attacked (which the DNR says CAN happen if you venture too close to a hawk's nest while there are young present-- like they no doubt were when I walked by), I snapped a few pictures and then quickly made my way back.
The DNR says red-tailed hawks usually nest in MinnesotaWild from February to June, so I'm guessing this nest will likely be empty in a few more weeks if it isn't already. It was located on the south side of eastbound Highway-14, just west of West Circle Drive.
And speaking of home, have you seen the 'nest' that former Minnesota Vikings general manager, Rick Spielman, used to call home when he worked here? He sold it earlier this year in Eden Prairie, but you can still check out the pictures below... it's pretty nice!