Daughter Stephanie introduced me to a new place to hike back on July 28th. Starkey Nature Park is located in Zionsville, Indiana. It is not too terribly far from home.
Starkey has a system of about 6 nicely laid out trails accessible from two separate points. We accessed it from the Zionsville Rail Trail. Zionsville has a wonderful Bike/Hike Trail system going for them. They evidently place a high value on their health and well being and think trails are important. (So do I.)
We walked along Eagle Creek on part of the trail along the bottomlands. Part of a trail we walked on was open prairie along the length of a high voltage power line right of way – wonderful use of this space, I might add! This trail led up to the main parking area.
While we were walking along the rail trail portion, we heard a commotion in the trees. What ensued was a very loud chase through the treetops of three juvenile Cooper’s Hawks. Two of them were chasing the one who had the prey. Since I had forgotten the binoculars in the car, we couldn’t see exactly what the catch-of-the-day was, but evidently it was very much coveted by the siblings.
We watched them for quite a while until they flew with their prey out of sight.
While we were hiking along the prairie section, which was bordered on each side by woods, we heard the scream of a hawk – one that Stephanie was well acquainted with as she had a nesting pair on the grounds of her job. Two Red-Shouldered Hawks were talking from one side to the other.
Our Bird List for the day:
Eastern Wood Pewee
Great Blue Heron
Ruby Throated Hummingbird
All in all, a great experience. If you live close enough to make a visit to this park and trail system, I would highly recommend it.