Sunday, August 26, 2007

Barred Owl

Upon close inspection in daylight, we think this is a Barred Owl. She has been seen stalking our boys when they are on the deck at night. Shortly before the photo at left was taken, one of the squirrels in a nearby tree had obviously been traumatized while sleeping in the branches.

Squirrels are not smart in that they make noise incessantly once they have been frightened, which, of course, allows the owl with its sharp ears to zero in on its target for a second time. The wing span of the bird, (above), passing through the trees was a good four feet in width. In daylight I half expect the owl to swoop down from a perch when the young squirrels are travelling along the cable wires, which is what this girl above is sitting on at the time the photo was taken. It is her size that suggests she is female as she is large.

At left she has been chased into a tree by the local crows, and is there for refuge. The crows were actually nipping at her tail as they chased her into the trees.

I can see here, that I am going to have to start looking at infrared cameras for night photos, as the same evening the night photos were taken, just at dusk, we had the largest local bear right below the window where I work on the computer. That close you don't turn your back!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Cooper's Hawk

This morning we had a couple of Cooper's Hawks going after the young, inexperienced crows. This surprised me as the crows were slightly bigger, however, I appreciated the time to take a few photos as one hawk had to hide from the angry crows for a time.

And, after posing for about 74 photos, he/she got bored and left.....

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Other Local Raptors

Bald Eagle, right.

This is, so far, the only shot I have of an eagle showing the white head that allows for identification. The eagle was a parent of the baby we found below their nest, lying in a city parking lot. My understanding was that there was a second baby in the nest, and I assume this parent was on guard while the other hunted for food.

We have also seen a Golden Eagle eating a meal about five feet from the road. In the sun, the plumage looks a magnificent chestnut brown color, gleaming with gold highlights, so I presume that is where the name came from. We do seen them circling overhead and know they are Golden Eagles because they lack the white head and tail, and have a slightly different wing span shape.


Today we managed to capture photos of the pair of Golden Eagles that were so close we were very concerned about the cats on the deck becoming lunch. They are obviously a lifetime mated pair as we seldom see only one passing through, and the schedule is usually very much around the same time of day.

We have a number of Common Nighthawks go through at dusk, but I have yet to capture on film. One night I saw twelve of them heading out for their nightly foraging, which was quite a site. If only I had my camera attached at the hip!

The URL attached to the Common Nighthawk name will give you an example of what you are hearing at dusk, not realizing what you hear.