16 February 2006

The Fourth Time ...



... is the charm.

We caught the peregrine falcon on film today! Actually we caught BOTH of them on film today. As it turns out, there are two, male and female, in our neighborhood. These shots are of the male. He perched in a tree that we passed on our way out and he was there still when we came back sitting still as a stone, watching. Amazing.

6 Comments:

Blogger Mike Croghan said...

Cool!!

2/16/2006 11:35:00 PM  
Blogger ArborSam said...

Fantastic photos! Those birds are beautiful. But they are not Peregrine falcons. These are red shouldered hawks. The distinct wing pattern identifies these birds as buteos, which are the large hawks that generally prey upon mice, rabbits, voles, snakes, frogs...etc. Peregrine falcons are accipiters, which means they capture their prey in mid-air. They prefer pigeons, ducks and songbirds. They dive from above and with incredible force break the back of their prey as they plow through them, awesome. I once watched two juveniles we were reintroducing into Shenandoah NP take on a group of ravens. Very few things will mess with a raven.
You can tell a buteo by the wing tips where the individual wings spread out and the broad rounded tail. An accipiter looks more like a fighter jet with a long rectangular tail and tight angled wings. If you ever see a bird that has a distinct black mask and a wing pattern like that, it could be a peregrine. And I know some professors who would drop everything to come see where you spotted it.
Red shouldered hawks are cool birds too. They hang out in the woods or near water and like you said they will sit motionless for long periods of time waiting for some foolish rabbit to stick his head out, or some tasty morsel humans to walk by...;)One of my buddies bands these birds for research and he will catch them by putting out some live bait attached to a rope. He will spot one from the car, turn around, park, throw out the bait and sure enough the hawk will take it. I said, won't the hawk just take off when we come back?..no he said she has a good spot and she won't fly unless we get too close.
So, thanks for the fantastic photos

2/17/2006 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger aBhantiarna Solas said...

Wow ... thanks, ArborSam. It's still really cool to have red shouldered hawks in our neighborhood.

2/17/2006 01:49:00 PM  
Blogger Ross said...

Wow! Thanks for the schooling Sam...have you ever thought of going into teaching?

:)

2/17/2006 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

You know what's wierd? I learned a new word today from sam's comment - accipiter -and then today I was watching a kid's show with Levi and they said accipiter (talking about hawks). What's up with that?

2/17/2006 10:38:00 PM  
Blogger kate said...

Hey -- does the Sniper shoot weddings? :)

2/25/2006 06:35:00 PM  

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