Monday, October 31, 2011

Green Heron and Dragonfly

Yes, yes I know- more hawks to come. In the meantime, since any followers know my love for Green Herons, check out this video friend Sharon sent me - it takes a few seconds to show the action, but it's worth it -

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sniff Tests

Nothing like getting to bury your nose in the back of an accip's head. The young Northern Goshawk on the left got the first sniff test - and passed with flying colors. The young Cooper's Hawk also got a thumb's up.

Monday, October 24, 2011

And more Red Tails!

Last season we were painfully low on banding Red tails - as in one lonely bird. That was it. We are doing better this season - adults as well as hatch years. More to come!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Part 1 of Ode to Red Tails

Have TONS of shots of Red-tails flying as they were released after banding. Try to spot the band in the pictures!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dream weekend

This past weekend was really the reason why we do what we do; 40 birds over the two days. 13 Red-tails, (I think) 6 Goshawks, several Cooper's hawks - the hits just kept coming. The skies were literally full of Red-tails on Saturday. Great winds helped us out a lot.

Because larger birds are a (little) slower, it helps to give us a little extra time to get some more shots in. First shot is one of my faves - we tossed this Red-tail into the wind. It pumped in flight for a bit, and then did a "wing over" - UPWARDS! The bird decided to flip over to change direction in the air to actually catch the winds behind it, as a tail wind. The other Red-tail flying shows the band we just put on it.

Bander Rick released a Goshawk, a Red-tail and a Cooper's Hawk as the rest of us took photos.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Eagle Owl video

Ran out of time this week to post some more pics. Enjoy this video of a captive Eurasian Eagle Owl filmed as it flew to a perch, sent by friends Nancy and Chuck. Watch how the owl flares its feathers (wings and tail) to create drag as it slows down to land. Note also how the feet come up exactly between its ears; this is how the bird would approach prey.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Misc Pics from Up North

Got a variety of stuff to post today. It was a weekend of pretty fall foliage, but not a lot for birds. SSE winds and a lot of savvy adults made for great watching, but not much interest in coming down from the Great Migration. Did catch a merlin and some more shins.

Here are a couple of pics to show the colors changing just around the blind.

This little buck came in to just feet from our blind! He was almost close enough to pull his chin whiskers!

This is a pretty famous Peregrine. For over 40 years, there has not been a wild-trapped Peregrine Falcon to be used for falconry in the state of Minnesota due to the decline of the species. This past year, one falconer applied for a take. He set up on the land close to us - and last weekend, this gorgeous 'blonde" came in! The falconer stopped in to show her off - and quite a beauty she is! We have falconers to thank for this species being restored to not only historical locations, but new ones that we all can enjoy today. Things have come full circle. We wish "Trudi" well on her hunting adventures.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Shin Molt

This AHY Sharp-shinned Hawk had some great examples of molting in new feathers! You can clearly see the more blue-grey NEW feathers in wings and tail. We even had one that was just recently in blood, as you can see the protective casing that was around the feather as it grew in. The bird will preen the casing off.

Handsome bird!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bigger Birds Coming Through!

Headed up for an extra day with sub-bander Chuck and his wife Nancy. Had pretty good luck - got an AHY Northern Goshawk, AHY Cooper's Hawk, and a HY Red-tailed Hawk in addition to merlin and shins. Just pulled the pics of Chuck releasing the birds, plus another of a merlin release from a student who visited. Oh - and Chuck happened to catch me in the act of my favorite clandestine activity. Hawk sniffing. Might be the most addictive thing I have personally experienced.