Monday, January 18, 2010

Winter Hawk and Eagle watch 1-16-10

This post is a mix of the last two days birding in the Champlain Valley with the Rutland Audubon and yesterday with Bill Jalbert. Here is the image of the Eastern Red-tailed Hawk with the eastern Canada type feature - dark throat instead of a white patch or striped.

Note the dark throat which is typical of northern Canada RT's - see page 56 , plate RT02 of Hawks from Every Angle by Jerry Liguori for a brief description. BTW a very helpful book to have. Compare with Sibley's Redtail images.
Bill captured this beautiful Bluebird image at one of the many stops the group made. I got zip for Bluebird photos even though we were standing 2 feet apart. Bluebirds seem to be somewhat of a problem for me; can you say nemesis! At Ft Cassin the group located 6 Bald Eagles, 3 adults and 3 juveniles. Two were bathing in the frigid water on the shore, a scope's view away. Eventually one flew in our direction and landed nearby where we were able to get some nice images of it. Here are some images I took of the bathing juvenile eagles; this very wet one is sunning it self dry - drying out his or her feathers, I think that this juvenile eagle could be a 3rd year bird. Can anyone clear that question up. finally, taking flight! See header above also.This is where we got separated from the Audubon group. With a dead radio and not capable of communicating with the Audubon group anymore, we just birded our way south along the lake. One of the highlights was finding a Peregrine Falcon almost where we had found one last winter on Lake Street in Bridport. The image bellow is a Cooper's Hawk not a peregrine.Sunday would prove to be an amazing birding day. We covered south of Rt 125 Bridport. This is a beautiful Copper's Hawk image that Bill made.

We were upwind of this Ruffy and if flew right at us. What luck!
Probably the most amazing part of the day was the tally of 17 Red-tailed Hawks, 1 peregrine, 2 Cooper's Hawks, 2 Rough-legged Hawks and ending the day with a Barred Owl. Bill Jalbert's owl image .
For a list of what we saw Sunday
check here:Vermont E-bird NOTE This list is not totally correct. The peregrine count is 1 and the Cooper's Hawk count should be 2 and one Sharp shinned Hawk. Thanks Roy.

If you're wondering why so many are Bill Jalbert's images and not mine, my camera was acting up all day long and more importantly, Bill's images are great too! So what's the difference?
As for me I can't wait to go looking for more wintering hawks south of Rt 73 next time.

Good Birding to all,
Peter Manship

photos by Bill Jalbert where noted all others by Peter Manship

© 2010 Peter Manship LLC

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