Posted by: atowhee | November 30, 2013


ferru on pivtferru aloft1 (1280x960)

ferru arched (1280x960)

ferru bent (1280x960)
This bird is the largest non-eagle raptor in Oregon.
ferru close1 (1280x960)

ferru close2 (1280x960)

ferru close3 (1280x960)

ferru side vu1 (1280x960)
These pictures were taken in Butte Valley, Siskiyou County, California.
ferru wingpits (1280x960)

The first scientific specimen of the Ferruginous Hawk was shot by Ferdinand Deppe near Monterey, California (somewhere), in 1834. The first scientific description based on that specimen was written by Martin Heinrich Lichtenstein in Berlin, 1838.
American naturalists–including Audubon–remained ignorant of the species for another decade until specimens were collected by Edward Kern, the artist on Col. Fremont’s Expedition to California in 1846. Cassin says Kern got his specimens in the “Tulavie Valley.” That I suspect is actually what we know as Tulare. Kern observed that the Ferruginous was very good eating.
When John Cassin published his lone volume of ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE BIRDS OF CALIFORNIA, TEXAS, OREGON, BRITISH AND RUSSIAN AMERICA (1856) his book contained the first colored illustration of the Ferruginous Hawk. It was known at that time as “Ferruginous Buzzard.”FERRU IN CASSIN
Cassin wrote, “Since Mr. Kern, the only American naturalist who has noticed this brd is Dr. Heermann, who has met with it during both of his visits to California, but especially during his connection with a party under command of Lieut. Williamson, of the U.S. Topographical Engineers….”
Then he quotes from Heermann’s journal: “During a previous visit to California, I had seen this species in the valley of the Sacramento river, and had considered it as rare as in that section…but during the recent survey…in the southern part of the state, I found it very abundant, and on one occasion saw five of six individuals in view at the same moment, in the mountains, about sixty miles east of San Diego…
“As large tracts of that country inhabited by this bird are often entirely without trees, it alights on the ground or on some slightly elevated tuft of grass or stone, where it sits patiently for hours watching for its prey….”
Even as late as 1874 Elliott Coues wrote about the dispute over whether the Ferruginous Buzzard was truly a separate species. There were some who thought it to be a form of the Rough-legged Hawk. Both have insulating feathers along their legs. In BIRDS OF THE NORTHWEST, A HANDBOOK, Coues declares the Ferruginous to be a separate species and later decades have proven him to be correct.
Coues wrote, “According to me observations…the Ferruginous Buzzards have no partiality for watery places, thus differing from the eastern Rough-legs. About Fort Whipple [Arizona] the birds mostly resorted to the open plains and the grassy glades intervening between patches of pinewoods…
“This hawk is known as the ‘California Squirrel Hawk’ in some localities…the name is gained from their feeding extensively, in California upon ‘ground squirrels’….”
ferru float (1280x960)

ferru fold

ferru shdowFERRU POLD (1280x960)

ferru pold2

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