Posted by: atowhee | November 6, 2015


Four of us birded the Klamath Basin, Shasta Valley in California and Tule Lake in California.  The skies were full of raptors; the waters abounded with waterfowl.

Most duck species present could be counted by the thousands: Canvasbacks, Pintails, Ruddy Ducks, Green-winged Teal, Wigeon.  Then there were the water surfaces alive with Coots.  In fields where rodents dwell and in the skies above: over 8o Red-tailed Hawks, 22 Ferruginous Hawks, 22 Harriers counted (not a single male), 12 Rough-legged Hawks, 3 Prairie Falcon, 5 Kestrel, 4 Golden Eagles and 5 Bald.  In addition there were the raptor auxiliary: dozens of Ravens and about 30 Black-billed Magpies.

But first, in this age of snark, I must ask, “Is it still allowed to write “majestic” and mean it?”  Judge California’s tallest volcano (Shasta) for yourself:SHST MAJESTY SHSTA VOLC (1280x704)Here, Ferruginous Hawk, holding ground.FERR-ARough-legged Hawk looking a little uneasy that high up in a tree, about thirty feet taller than any plant he finds in his breeding tundralands. RLH IN TREE RLH IN TREE2 RLH LV TREEYoung Golden Eagle who’d been shring a jackrabbit carcass with a Bald Eagle, Ravens and Magpies in Butte Valley. YNG GE1 YNG GE2 YNG GE3

This should be one of Aesop’s Fables, “The Golden Eagle and the Raven.” GE-RVN GE-RVN2We first noticed this pair of adult Bald Eagles on a crossbar, side by side.  The male flew our across the field, the female held her post on the post.BE AFIELD (1280x960) BE ALOFT (1280x960) BE CRISSBAR3 BE CROSSBAR2

There were over a hundred of these gulls still feeding over Tule Lake.  Other lingering “summer” birds included some White Pelicans and adult Western Grebes feeding full-grown but still-begging young.  I have a photo sequence of that to post tomorrow.

One of the small groups of Eared Grebes at Tule Lake:3EAREDSOne of the hundreds of American Pipits now in Shasta Valley.PIP-FACEMore photos from today on the morrow.


  1. Great photos! Looks like you had a productive trip.

  2. Fabulous! What joy you must have experience. Seeing your photos and the I numbers gives me hope that all is not lost. Thank you for sharing these!

  3. […] Source: A SKY FULL OF RAPTORS […]

  4. Looks like you had a great birding day! We’re heading up to Klamath for the Winter Wings Festival. Looking forward to birding the Klamath area and seeing Eagles, Raptors and more, hope to get out to see the Great Gray Owl! See you then,
    Ranger Sandy and friends.

    • Thanks, I am looking forward to being at WW…except lots of snow. It’s a real winter this year.

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