Wednesday, October 03, 2007

On to Hawk Ridge

We left Frank Taylor's banding station in a downpour but by the time we reached Hawk Ridge the rain had moved on. The winds were not favorable for seeing large numbers of migrating raptors. Sharp-shinned hawks were flying low and I got lots of good advice from Stan about differentiating accipiters. I have to say, it's really great to spend a day with two talented birders like Birdchick and Stan Tekiela. I learned so much from them both. Asking questions on the spot, in the field is the best way for me to learn.
Along with the sharpies there were kestrels, a few goshawks and a few red-tailed hawks. Three of the red-tails were flying together and Sharon and I noticed that one was quite a bit bigger than the other two. I'm guessing the large female was trapped and banded while we were there. Just before we were getting ready to leave the Hawk Ridge staff announced that they were bringing a red-tail down to be released.
She was "big and feisty" according to the gal showing her off to the crowd.
Isn't she gorgeous?!
I caught her nictitating membrane in this shot.
Click to enlarge and check out those feet.
Did you know that spellcheck doesn't recognise the words accitiper or nictitating?


Jayne said...

Oh. My. Goodness. How exciting Lynne! Those feet...yikes!!!! Wonderful shots of a glorious raptor!

NatureWoman said...

Wow! What a great bird, and a great 50th birthday you had! You sure know how to celebrate!

RuthieJ said...

Wow, Lynne, those claws and that beak....looks like a triple threat. I can see why it's best to have professionals handling these birds.

Deb said...

Once again, I have to chuckle at the high tech containers they use for these cans for the red taileds, ancient beer cans for the sharp shinneds!

Those talons and that beak demand RESPECT!

Did you see the lineup for the Saturday birding trip? Wow! 28 people! I'm glad Mike filled the boat. I recognize a few names; I was in Steve Weston's Christmas Bird Count group and he has a wealth of bird knowledge. Should be fun!

mon@rch said...

Wow, that is such a wonderful day and those are stunning talons! Wish I could have been their with you!

Susan Gets Native said...

Hawks are birds to be respected. Imagine those feet squeezing those talons into a glove on your hand. First time I held our RT, I thought I was going to wet my pants.

Love the coffee cans! We just grab them out of a box.

BTW: The RT doesn't look too big to me...from what I can see on the tail, it's a passage year bird, is that right? Females are so humongous ( you can tell by their feet ).
But maybe I am just used to Scarlet. They broke the RT mold when they made her.

eries argonuat said...

What a beautiful, proud bird! Wicked feet! I guess I hadn't given it a thought before but birds do have tongues.

Mary said...

That's the closest photo of hawk feet and hawk tongue I've seen! My goodness. She was brave to cradle her like that. Glorious photos, Lynne! So exciting for you...Thanks!

(Can't always rely on spell check, I know.)

dguzman said...

What a birthday to remember; I'm so jealous! Maybe I'll spend #44 doing cool bird stuff, but probably not with Kat (she's a non-birder; thinks "birds are creepy and have beady eyes that stare at you!"). Great pics!

Larry said...

Really great photos Lynne.-You are lucky to have had such a great experience with some great people!