All Photos posted on this blog unless otherwise noted were taken by me with my Canon Rebel XTI using a 300 mm zoom lens

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Little Beauties easily missed

Have you ever driven down a country road or dirt road and seen little birds flitting about and assumed they may be sparrows. They are small and if you don't stop and take a close look they appear plain dull light brown. These little birds are a testimonial to the importance of stopping to smell the roses or some of the really beautiful things in life will pass us by. I am talking about the small but beautiful Horned Lark. I took a ride out to Bear River Bird Refuge Yesterday and these little guys were everywhere. Not a lot of diversity out there yesterday, in addition to the Horned Larks, a few Harriers, about a thousand Tundra Swans, Canada Geese, a female American Kestrel and one little skunk.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Eagle Day at Farmington Bay

Liberty from Hogle Zoo visiting for Eagle Day

I spent most of Friday this weekend at Farmington Bay guiding tours and instructing a Cub Scout class. There were about 150 eagles around most of them would not allow a close approach and most of them were on the east side inside the gates and required a mile walk to get to them. On Saturday for Eagle Day we had some nice activities at the nature Center, Hawk Watch brought a Swainson's Hawk and a  Red-tail Hawk, Hogle Zoo brought Liberty their Bald Eagle from the Bird Show. As far as wild Eagles there were a few out on the ice though for easy viewing though a spotting scope. In addition to eagles I saw my first American Avocets of the season, my second ever Lesser Black-backed Gull, several flights of Common Mergansers, a hundred or so American Crows hanging with the Eagles eating scraps, and some nice views of Red-tailed  Hawks. Here are a few pictures of the Red-tails.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

February 2010 Bird of the Month American Kestrel


Our most colorful, most abundant and smallest Falcon the American Kestrel is my pick for February bird of the month. When I was a kid we knew this beautiful little hawk as a Sparrow Hawk and never then and still now grow tired of watching these little falcons as they hover over fields in search of mice. The first of the birds of prey that I was able to identify.

Female American Kestrel


Typical Voice

Adult Description
Small hawk.
Rufous back and tail.
Two dark mustache marks on face.
Male Description
Wings blue-gray with black spots. Tail rufous on back with a broad black subterminal band and a white or rufous tip. Tail white underneath with a few incomplete black bars. Back and rump orange to rufous, with a variable amount of black barring. Underparts pale buff to orange, with variable amount of black spotting, especially along sides. Crown blue-gray with some orange. Buffy spots with dark centers on either side of nape (back of head), making "eyespots" visible from behind.
Female Description
Wings rufous barred with black. Tail rufous with black bands. Underparts creamy to buff, heavily streaked with brown. Back rufous with dark barring