I am sharing images of 3 raptors, i.e., birds of prey. Take note of the image of the White-tailed Kite in the air. It was kiting, its characteristic behavior of hovering over potential prey before it drops down to catch it.
Please click on caption to see images at higher resolution.
This spring, a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks gave birth to a pair of chicks at Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Sacramento. Hawk babies are often born at the center. What made this remarkable is they nested at a place where you could see them well enough to photograph them. Today, I am sharing some baby pictures.
The first image is one of the adults at the nest. I do not know if it is the male or female. I don’t know how to tell them apart, except that the female is usually larger. After that image we entered the period of stay-at-home, so I missed a few weeks of photographing the nest. When I returned the nest appeared empty. But, as I watched, I could see a small crest of white down peeking above the rim of the nest. On my next weekly visit, there was no activity at the nest. But, the next week, I saw an adult and 2 babies; one beginning to have feathers, the other still in down. The following week, the older of the 2 had more well-developed feathers and was branching, i.e. climbing out on nearby branches. The smaller had its first feathers also. An adult was perched on a nearby snag calling out and the older baby was returning the call.
In the past 2 weeks, there has been no activity in the nest. Both babies should have been large enough to see even if sleeping. In fact, they should have both been branching. I am hoping that at least the older one has fledged but I don’t know. I will probably never know the outcome.
Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.
Here are a few raptors, birds of prey, I’ve photographed over the past year.
The Red-shouldered and Red-tailed Hawks are members of the Buteo family. They forage in more open areas and prefer small rodents. The Goshawk and Sharp-shinned Hawks are members of the Acipiter family. They are built to forage in in forested areas and prefer birds. The Merlin is a small falcon. Though they have there preferences, they’ll eat whatever they can catch.
Note: Please click on caption to see these images at higher resolution.
Returning from a recent trip to the Seattle area, we stopped
at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. The visitor center and restrooms
were closed but the government shutdown didn’t affect the birds. This stop
turned out to be very productive. It was a great day for raptors. The star was
a juvenile Bald Eagle on a kill. But we saw Ferruginous Hawks, Northern
Harriers, Rough Legged Hawks, a Cooper’s Hawk and a Red-shouldered hawk also.
This is feast time for the raptors at Sacramento NWR because of the large
numbers of waterfowl that spend the winter months there.
I didn’t share images of the Rough-legged haws because I only got a rear quarter shot and it didn’t show enough to make the shot interesting. I’ve shared other Cooper’s Hawks and Red-shouldered Hawks in the recent past, so I didn’t include them. But, I hope you enjoy what I shared.
Note: Please click on caption to see image in higher resolution.
Here is a few shots of some wildlife we saw travelling through various places. The locations are listed with each image.
We hadn’t seen any bears in the wild for several years. Then, on one trip, we saw 2. Unfortunately, the one that got away, was a cinnamon colored one. Maybe someday I’ll be able to photograph one of those.
The tufa in Mono Lake are beautiful themselves but we got a rare treat – an osprey on its nest on top of a tufa.
Note: Click on caption to see image at higher resolution.
We have an active backyard. Several species of birds frequent our feeder and the ground beneath. My wife is always chasing squirrels from the feeder. This afternoon, we had an unexpected visitor – a Cooper’s Hawk. He was very gracious. He hung around for about 15 minutes and allowed me to photograph him. Interesting though, no birds came to the feeder, no squirrels came around. Not a tweet could be heard; not even from the baby starling that has been crying all week. It took about an hour after the hawk left for backyard life to resume.
Note: Click on caption to see larger, higher resolution image.