Raptors

:Tag:Raptors

Utility Pole Eagles

Back in the Bay Area, if someone had described to me a place where Bald Eagles huddled on every utility pole like pigeons or Starlings, I would have thought it must be Alaska ... or somewhere along the Samuel Morse telegraph lines of the mid-1800s. I didn't expect that just two hours north -- through the Peace-Arch crossing into British Columbia, toward Vancouver -- I'd have a one-eagle-per-pole morning. I lived in Vancouver in the [...]

2012-03-13T16:47:08+00:00 March 13th, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|4 Comments

Was it Something I Said?

Spencer Island, Washington -- described by Audubon Washington this way: "A cornucopia of species! Come year-round for Bald Eagles, Great Horned Owls, Northern Harriers, Belted Kingfishers – and woodpeckers: Pileated, Downy, and Hairy, plus Northern Flickers and Red-breasted Sapsuckers. Spring-summer find Tree and Violet-green Swallows, plus Ospreys, Wood Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, Western Tanagers, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Band-tailed Pigeons, Red-eyed Vireos, Common Yellowthroats. Long-billed and Short-billed Dowitchers migrate through in fall. Look for Merlins, Peregrine Falcons, Orange-crowned [...]

2012-02-25T21:35:54+00:00 February 25th, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|7 Comments

Eagle Noir

I joke (but it's true) that my best eagle and osprey in moments in the Northwest happen in silhouette. There's the issue of light, and how low and flat it tends to be in the winter. There's also the issue of my luck -- where the light is perfect, I'm pointed in the right direction, but the bird has other plans for me, usually flying overhead and hovering mere meters away with a lightbox of [...]

2012-02-02T12:48:00+00:00 February 2nd, 2012|Uncategorized|10 Comments

Bald Eagles Wear the Pants

At the height of Bald Eagle season in Rockport and Marblemount, along the Skagit River, you'll see dozens of eagles, lumbering across the sand bars, dragging and pillaging salmon carcasses. I like to say that birds like pigeons have jodhpurs -- with flared plumes tapering into claws. Eagles, on the other hand, look like they're wearing Wookiee pants, a vision more amusing when these huge raptors cluster together in one spot. We saw such a [...]

2012-01-29T21:22:49+00:00 January 29th, 2012|Uncategorized|4 Comments

Barring the Hat

My first wild encounter with a Barred Owl in Seattle culminated in the photo below. Based on this experience, my advice to children in raptor territory is: avoid wearing plush toy animals on your backpack as the dusk hunting hour approaches. A boy was walking along a wooded path with his mother, a fuzzy toy animal tethered to his pack. From a nearby tree branch, this Barred Owl swooped down, aiming for the little boy's [...]

2011-09-04T17:39:17+00:00 September 4th, 2011|Uncategorized|4 Comments

And Osprey Makes Two

So far, that's all I've seen at this nesting site . . . two diligent Osprey, bringing each other fish and taking turns sitting. The structure of the cell phone tower obscures the interior of the nest, so I see only what happens on the rafters outside. To date, it's been just a male and female Osprey with no visuals of eggs or young. They have their favorite dining area, on a girder to the [...]

2011-07-06T13:38:26+00:00 July 6th, 2011|Birds, Uncategorized|0 Comments

No Dropped Calls

This Osprey doesn't have to worry about mobile phone dead zones at home -- nesting, as he is, at the top of a cell tower. Osprey love the tall platforms of human invention, but the settings can take their toll, too -- in the form of power outages, or even electrical harm to the birds. Dead trees are a favorite nesting spot for Osprey. With suitable trees and habitat in increasingly short supply, [...]

2011-05-11T02:12:32+00:00 May 11th, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Bald Eagle in the Backyard

This is a huge bonus of living in Seattle: the urban and suburban wildlife includes a multitude of Bald Eagles. This morning, Hugh went into our friends' garden to fill up their bird feeder -- a chore we both kind of enjoy. A huge contingent of birds descends right when our boots leave the scene of the feeder. As he walked into the garden, seed in hand, he saw this [very] big bird, perched on [...]

2011-03-08T20:57:51+00:00 March 8th, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Eagle En Route . . .

. . . it's a Seattle thing. First alert -- a look overhead and warning calls: American Wigeon first responders leave lone Eurasian Wigeon to contemplate his next move: And he's off: Safety in numbers: The instigator comes into view: The juvenile Bald Eagle shows little interest in the ducks, catches the thermals, and whirls up over the trees. The wigeon [...]

2011-02-23T19:10:18+00:00 February 23rd, 2011|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Dine Like an Eagle

We came upon this scene on a Seattle area beach . . . a small stretch of private community beach where we have a pass. Planted on the pebbles, way far away, too far for my 70-300mm lens, we watched as this Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) wrangled with a second eagle, a group of crows, and a vortex of gulls overhead, all looking for a freebie from the eagle's fish. The bird intruders annoyed the [...]

2010-10-24T01:24:37+00:00 October 24th, 2010|Birds, Uncategorized|2 Comments