Sunday, February 19, 2012

Visiting Raptors

Most days, if you look up into the sky around our apartment, you'll see raptors of one sort or another circling high above -- usually it's Turkey Vultures, or sometimes Black Vultures, or a Red-tailed Hawk or two. These predatory birds are pretty much always around, but it's a special thing when they decide to settle down nearby for a closer view. I was pretty excited about the Cooper's Hawk who stopped by about a month ago, and we've had some more cool visitors in the past few days.

On Thursday, a Red-shouldered Hawk showed up and perched on an improbably small branch high in one of our neighbor's trees:

I think Red-shouldered Hawks are quite pretty, with that reddish breast and black-and-white striped wings (and tail, although you can't see it well here). For some reason, I've only seen them around our apartment in the winter so far -- I wonder where they go the rest of the year.

This afternoon, we got another surprise visit when a Turkey Vulture came in for a landing. What a huge hulking creature!

Someday I hope to see a Turkey vulture really close up, but this is the nearest I've gotten so far. This one landed in the tree, stretched its gigantic wings (I missed that photo), gnawed on that twig for a bit (I have no idea why), and then took off again to join the two other Turkey Vultures circling overhead. Just look at those talons.... That's quite a bird!

I love having windows to look out of, and big bare trees in which raptors can perch. Feel free to stop by again soon, big birds!

1 comment:

  1. I love it on the occasions when raptors deign to land in our yard - mostly the neighborhood Red Tail.

    If you hike the Blue Trail heading East from the Tower, there are outcroppings on which vultures (I'm pretty sure they are Turkey Vultures) sun themselves. One evening we hiked to the Tower and there were about a dozen Black Vultures - now THEY were scarey!

    Love your posts!