Monday, October 18, 2010

Let's Hear it for the Boys

No dry pants in the blind when this fabulous male Northern Harrier came in! The Grey Ghost he's called, and for good reason. My God what a sexy creature. Long tail, crazy-looking head, and hardly anything to him. You can see from the brown feathers still in his plumage that he has not lost all his juvenal feathers. Check out that facial disc. They hunt with their heads held down, to hear the mice and sparrows, etc, in the fields they hunt over.

And another male - this time a jack merlin! In falconry terms, a male is a jack. The males and females are both brown as juvenals, but the males get this silvery grey starting their second year. As above, you can see the brown feathers still in the plumage.

You can see the vasculature in the nictitating membrane (over the eye) of this first year Northern Goshawk.

Finally - some release shots. The hot chicks are sisters and mom of friend Sharon Stiteler and the handsome fellow releasing the harrier is sub-bander Chuck

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Some articles to tide you over

Didn't get up to the blind this past weekend. Here are a few articles to fill in till this coming! Warmer climates in South America mean more parasites on birds. Here is one on a thought that urban birds don't necessarily have more predators at the nest (keep in mind this is one study in one area). And one on Northern Cardinals - urban females may be more forgiving.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Yikes! Tap Shutting Off

Not many hawks seen or banded this weekend. This Cooper's Hawk was a highlight. Peregrine pulled up just in front of the nets, and though Rick was faster than most professional running backs out there, she avoided our clutches.