Posted by: atowhee | January 15, 2011

Klamath Winter

Yesterday was an unusually pleasant day in the Klamath Basin.  NO WIND!   Little morning fog, gone by 9AM.  Sunshine and broken clouds.  A few light sprinkles.  Temps climbed into the balmy upper 30s.  The dozens of Rough-legged Hawks down from the Arctic must have been wishing they could have shed some of their dense down.  We saw a coyote loping across a frozen lake on the Lower Klamath Refuge, another hunting a mown field.  A bobcat hunted a field just below a juniper woods.  And these locals around Dorris, just couldn’t believe the strange-looking strangers.  When you’re  outsiders, as we were, you must ac cept being stared at by locals:







They’d give us a stare, then shuffle about nervously, trying to pretend they hadn’t noticed us at all.  Even though they are the fastest land animal in North America, these pronghorn move deliberately and casually.  Never losing their cool, which is extensive.






Dorris’s White-bellied Pole-sitter.  Also, known as a Ferruginous Hawk.

Here’s a profile view of one.











































Rough-legged on irrigation pivot’s wheel.  MOst of the hawks seemed drowsy n the unseasonable warmth.  But we found two dark-morph Rough-legged Hawks uneasily sharing a large field.  There was ne aerial confrontation, then each settled down, standing about fifty yards apart.  Viewed from the front each bird showed no light color except the diminutive yellowish beak, all else was dark.  At first glance you would guess Raven, but through a scope you could see they were shades of dark brown.  The only pale feathers came into view when they opened their wings and flew.  We noticed that Ferruginous Hawks have long primary extension when their are perched.  By contrast the stubby-winged Rough-leggeds appeared to be wearing an overcoat with sleeves too short.  The dozens of Red-tails just looked, well…familiar.



Here, a youngster on the roadside.


















Standard morph, adult Red-tail.  We saw several dark morphs as well.  one was with paler mate in previous blog.














This last little beauty is a female Kestrel, south of Dorris.  Most of the Rough-leggeds and Bald Eagles were inside Oregon, the Ferruginous were all in California.

An Eagle straight flush in a field that held a total of 25 Bald Eagles, along with their usual attendant Ravens.  This was along Township Road in Oregon.






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