Pretty cool raptors for book ends at my folks' place in SD. The Rough-legged was chilling at one end of some trees, and the Prairie Falcon was at the other. The last pic shows why the Prairie Falcon was around. Though they won't take enough to affect a hunting season or population by any means, the falcons do fill their tummies with pheasant in the fall and winter season around the place.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Earlier this week, five of the 10 young Whooping Cranes hatched in WI made it to their wintering home in the FL panhandle (St Mark's NWR). They followed ultralight planes. The other five birds will hopefully get to Crystal Springs (FL) soon. This is more good news - an aerial survey Dec 9 of the Wood Buffalo birds counted 223 adults and 45 juveniles. Follow Operation Migration for background and continuing stories of the Whooping Cranes.
Below I have posted a couple of pics from the March 09 trip tp Kearney, NE. We had heard there was one juvenile Whooping Crane in the area, with a flock of Sandhills. We did find him/her - the bird certainly stuck out with the white (and some orange, from the first year plumage) and a much larger size, among the Sandhills. It was odd to have this bird with the Sandhills - it should still have been with its parents, but seemed to do well.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Actually BEFORE Snowmageddon (just one of the titles of the historic 17.1 inch snowfall that just fell here in the Mpls area) I took these shots of a first year Red-tailed Hawk. He was hanging out near Springbrook. Staff there said that a couple of days before, he had gotten himself a couple of squirrels. Makes sense - the feeders would have been kept full to make sure lots of birds would be coming in anticipation of banding. Squirrels love feeders/seed, too, and any quick-thinking hawk would take advantage of that.
Note that the bird does NOT have red tail! He won't, until he starts to molt it in next year. See how the first year birds get "training wheels", especially on their tails? The feathers are just a bit longer, and you can see if here on that white edging on the tail.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Anyone who has ever tried to photograph Northern Cardinals knows that they actually can be a bit challenging. There are not particularly accepting if you are nearby. Also never seems to be the right background for a truly nice photo. I actually got a little closer to some ideal shots this past weekend. The feeders at Springbrook were full with anticipation of banding this weekend.