2009/02/12

Walked to the dyke - Red-tailed Hawk, Great Blue Heron, and Bald Eagles

What a strange weather we are having lately. It snowed a bit yesterday, but today was bright and sunny. Talking about strange, I came across this interesting-looking bug while walking towards the dyke. I used my Ricoh R8 to take these close-up pictures. Any help identifying this species would be greatly appreciated (I also asked for help at BugGuide here).

On the dyke, everything was bright and clear!

Testing the Macro mode on my Lumix FZ18. Not bad at all.

Now, one of the reasons that I really wanted/needed a superzoom camera is to solve my Accipiter identification problem. I see and take many pictures of them (with my Ricoh R8) before, but none of pictures were good enough to compare with my field guide for identification. Well, I came across another Accipiter today and that provided a great opportunity for me to test out my new camera.

Actually, all of my pictures of this Accipiter perced on this tree came out poorly focused. Such a shame. But it's my problem not the camera's.

What is that whiteness on the hawk's head?

Before I could take a focused picture, it flew away. While doing so, it actually tried to attack this Northern Flicker that was minding its own business. Below is a cropped picture of the original. You can clearly see the flicker's barred back now with this camera.

All of this occurred in the Terra Nova Natural Area, right next to the golf course. Continuing with the trail, I then heard and saw two crows cawing and attacking something on a roof. Looking closer, it was a Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis). What a beauty! It may very well be the same one I just saw earlier, but I am not too positive. The hawk was not bothered by the crows and remained unflinching. The crows left shortly afterwards.

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
I finally have a good picture of a hawk now! Hooray!

Cropping some photos to emphasize on the hawk itself - one of the most common and widespread hawks in North America.

Giving me the puppy-like head tilt? Anyone know about this kind of behavior?

Today, I had the chance to meet the lady (and her cat) who kept all the ducks and passerines fed and happy in the Natural Area. She told me she comes out everyday about 4:30pm to feed these birds, especially during this harsh winter season. What a nice person!

The presence of food allowed me to take some pictures of the birds feeding from the feeder, such as Song Sparrows (?), Spotted Towhee, and Black-capped Chickadees.

Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)

There was also a Great Blue Heron that came quite close to me and was not shy about me taking its pictures, so I spend a good twenty minutes (at least) taking pictures of it walking across the boardwalk to get to the ditch. It looked like it was enjoying the view of the sunset too. What a magnificent bird!

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

While taking pictures of the heron, a gentleman walked by and he talked about how a heron in the marina of Bowen Island (where he lived for 10 months) was quite approachable by people as well.

Seeing the sun setting made me hurried on home too.

Mallards resting on a calm, streaked surface.

Huge clouds in the distance blocked off the setting sun, creating this pretty color behind the clouds.

Northern Harrier in the distance still hunting for food.

The Bald Eagles were already home and reorganizing the nest.

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
And never stopping to guard its nest from others.

By the way, Happy 200th Birthday, Mr. Charles Darwin! Can't imagine what the current natural world would be like now without your brilliant ideas and teachings in the past! Thank you.
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2 comments:

Huckleberry said...

Wonderful photos as usual! You are a great photographer! What was that white on the hawk's head?

PSYL said...

Thanks. As for the hawk, I have no idea. One glimpse was normal, and then the whiteness appeared. Maybe it turned its head it a strange angle that exposed its white breast feathers? It'll always be a mystery.

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