Thursday, September 16, 2010

Only One Of Three

So yesterday was a fair day at the hawkwatch.  It was nice to have some birds low and overhead when you're trying to get some pics!  I hope I have more opportunities in the coming days!

This Osprey made a nice pass.  Those spooky orange eyes tell us that he/she is a youngster.  By the way, the "I'm getting the life chocked out of me!" bulging-eye-thing is all about the lack of a supraorbital ridge.  Other birds of prey have them (so do people for that  matter!), but Osprey don't. That is why so many raptors look so fierce while Osprey look kinda dopey. The bird on my blog header is an Osprey, as well.  It really was carrying a bottle of Chimay. I swear. Really.  It has good taste! They have to wash that fish down with something!


Red-tailed Hawks will be coming by the thousands in the coming weeks.  Yes, it is a Redtail even though this one does not have a red tail.  I suspect I have mentioned it before, but they do not get their red tail until their second year of life.  Unfortunately, that spells some trouble for this one.  Studies have shown that the first year of life for a bird of prey is brutal. While they have the instinct to do things, they don't have the skills yet.  Flying, hunting, and just general survival stuff are quite hard.  More than 1 in 2 will be dead by their first birthday. More than likely, this one will not get a candle on his birthday vole.


This bird, on the other hand, should fair well.  That crazy tail pattern marks this one as a Broad-winged Hawk adult.  While its migration is brutal in terms of distance (they head to the tropics!), the simple fact that it is an adult suggests it has cleared that awful first year hurdle and should do well, barring accident, injury, or illness.  Every day is rough, but this one has shown it at least has learned a few things...


There you have it.   Three birds on the go. One might get where it goin'......

2 comments:

Holly said...

Great pics as always Paul!

Paul said...

Thanks!