The day's first sighting was of a Merlin falcon in this tree. Bud said it is a kind rarely seen on this side of the mountains. I know so little about these birds, but I learned that they are very fast, smaller than the Peregrine falcon, and can snatch birds in midair. After a while I could see the difference in the way they fly (at least as compared to more common birds).
Next we saw this hawk, or is it a Peregrine falcon (I am not sure now, I had so much information coming at me all day long). We were looking at them through our binoculars most of the time, but occasionally they would stay in a place long enough for one of the birders to set up a scope so we could watch them for a long time. Occasionally I was able to get these pictures with my telephoto lens.
He said the larger ones are always female, and this one weighed 1400 grams, or almost three and a half pounds! Look at that beautiful tail, and those wings. He said she was born not last summer but the summer before that.
Then after putting a hood on her and wrapping her up, he placed a band on her leg.
After each of us had a chance to hold her and feel her heart beating under that yellow bondage, he removed everything (except the band, of course) and let her go. She flew off, none the worse for wear, and all of us not only learned how wonderful these red-tailed hawks are, but had a chance to be a part of this incredible experience. We came home from this wonderful day filled with wonder and gratitude for having the chance to do this. Thanks, Bud! Thanks to Cindy for inviting me!
Wow! What an exciting day. Falcons, hawks, eagles are fascinating birds, oops, raptors.ReplyDelete
That must have been quite an adventure! Love the photos!ReplyDelete
WOW!! That is an adventure of the really adventurous type!! No kidding.. that's fantastic. :)ReplyDelete
Wow, what an awesome day. And such beautiful hawk photos!ReplyDelete
Awesome, what an exciting day you had. Interesting information, I had guessed the had in my photo today was a female but wasn't sure. She was huge, much larger than most of the ones I see.ReplyDelete
I love the close ups of the tagging. I would love to have been there. Thanks for sharing DJan.
Wow! What an incredible experience! So many bald eagles that they are ho-hum? Wow.ReplyDelete
Very interesting how he was able to trap the hawk. I'll bet the whole thing, banding him, etc. didn't take very long, but I'll bet the bird flew off thinking - "What just happened?"
Still going on with your birdwatching adventure? Nice to way to spend the day! I do also love birdwatching and that would be my next adventure if time permits. Take care friend and have fun.ReplyDelete
A real beauty. I can get close to the hawks that come here and have posted them often on my blogs but I could never reach out and grab one.ReplyDelete
All those different kinds of birds???? I would have had a heart attack trying to capture them all on camera! And WOW that awesome falcon...just stunning!ReplyDelete
What a wonderful encounter with the Red Tailed Hawk..a beautiful bird..I loved seeing it up close!! What a fun day for you!! :)ReplyDelete
What a fun day! So glad I could join you through your post. You got some incredible pictures. I've never seen so many dunlins in one place before. And that hawk...man, oh, man, beautiful! ~ksueReplyDelete
What an outstanding trip you had DJan. I would have loved to be with y’all.ReplyDelete