An early morning drive along Interstate 80 in Nebraska.
The red-tailed hawk is considered a power animal in Native American culture, and its feathers are believed to be sacred. Red-tailed hawk feathers adorn Native American headdresses and are often used as a symbol in religious ceremonies and sacred rituals. Red-tailed hawk feathers were often rewarded to ancient warriors as a symbol of bravery. The red hawk is considered a messenger and symbolizes strength and guardianship. A common belief in many cultures is that when a single feather appears in an unusual place, it is a message from a spirit guide or angel.
Common Mergansers are numerous in summer along rivers in northern North America, and many a canoe trip will turn them up without much trouble. Look for them sitting on rocks in midstream, disappearing around the next bend, or flying along the river, when their white wing patches and heavy bodies make them easy to identify. In winter, seek Common Mergansers on large rivers and lakes; look for them in large flocks mixed with other ducks such as Common Goldeneye and Bufflehead. Look for the sharp dark-and-white contrast of the snazzy males and the crisply defined, rusty heads of females.
(Cornell Labs, All about birds)