Posted by: atowhee | April 24, 2015


I hear there are some humans who have a political or religious faith in The Rapture.  As a more pagan birder I tend toward The Raptor.  Along with three other birders yesterday our prayers were answered as they related to seeing a raptor, or two.  The Klamath Basin and Butte Valley delivered.EAGLESLINED (1280x960)This is an irrigation pivot in an organic field in California’s Butte Valley south of Dorris.  At least ten eagles were on this pivot, probably satiated after eating Belding’s ground squirrels which made the earth seem to heave with activity.  Also present for the feast were dozens of Ravens, Black-billed Magpies, Ring-billed Gulls and various buteos of the season. eagls pivotHere we see a Ferruginous Hawk on the ground with possible snack watching him.  Later this very bird chased a Golden Eagle away from this field.  The buteo looked fragile and bouyant compared to the airship that is a Golden Eagle. FERRU STANDZ (1280x960)This was also in Butte Valley just across the road from the eagle pivot above. FERRU-STARE (1280x960) GE MALE ON RIDGEAbove, male Golden Eagle looks down from his ridge.  Below was his mate with three or two eaglets in their 5 foot wide nest in a cottonwood.  This is in Siskiyou  County in the southern end of the Klamath Basin. GE NEST-SHEEPYOur most unlikely, never-to-be-repeated experience came with a Swainson’s Hawk.  It was on a cross-bar, then its mate joined.  Both watching us but not perturbed.pfal 2gether PFAL LOOKS (1280x960) PFAL-LEFT (1280x960) PFAL-LEFT3 (1280x960)It seemed the right hand bird was bigger as well as darker.  Larger buteo would be the female.  This had to be a mated pair as they do not normally share perch or hunting territory unless they are paired.   PFAL-PAIR1 (1280x960)In this shot the female’s feathers are ruffled by the wind, giving her a “Harpy Eagle” look. PFAL-RIGHT (1280x960)One of several airborne Swainson’s Hawks we saw.  This one on Lower Klamath NWR in Oregon. swains-1 swains2Young Bald Eagle seen in small meadow along southern end of Keno Access Road.BE -SEC.YR (1280x960)Roadside young Red-tail in Lower Klamath NWR, Oregon side of the border. FERRU PST (1280x960) ferru roadsidePeregrine giving us the stare along Township Road. PERE FACD2 (1280x960)


  1. Reblogged this on West County Hawk Watch Raptor Study Group and commented:
    Check the ID calls here, thanks

    • all have been corrected, thanks

      • Awesome work love it up there, wondering if the Ferruginous is staying over the summer, or still heading north. Great photos, love your blog and updates, much thanks.

      • Ferruginous nest in eastern Oregon(east of Cascades)…I do spring trips for Klamath Bird Observatory to Malheur and we usually find at least two Ferru nests each June, wanna come along? The birds nest in Klamath basin as well, last two years we’ve had a resident dark morph. Mlaheur will get you Eastern Kingbird, Bobolink, Sage Thrasher, both eagles, Short-eared and Burrowing Owls, nesting Curlews, Wilson’s Phalarope, Sagebrush Sparrow,Franklin’s Gull and a host of Great Basin species

      • great stuff….. love your work.

  2. Wow!

  3. […] ACHIEVING RAPTOR. […]


    I can imagine, in some otherworld

    Primeval-dumb, far back

    In that most awful stillness, that only gasped and hummed,

    Humming-birds raced down the avenues.

    Before anything had a soul,

    While life was a heave of Matter, half inanimate,

    This little bit chipped off in brilliance

    And went whizzing through the slow, vast, succulent stems.

    I believe there were no flowers, then,

    In the world where the humming-bird flashed ahead of creation.

    I believe he pierced the slow vegetable veins with his long beak.

    Probably he was big

    As mosses, and little lizards, they say were once big.

    Probably he was a jabbing, terrifying monster.

    We look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of Time,

    Luckily for us.

    D.H. Lawrence

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