Photo Gallery - 2013 Field Trips

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All photographs ©2014 by Mary Beth Stowe

 

January 25, 2014 - Birder Patrol Field Trip:  Hawk Banding with Bill Clark

 

We start our adventure at the Sugarhouse Pond while waiting for Bill to call us (L-R:  Linda, Larry, Pat, MJ, and Bob)...

 

Both white and blue morph Snow Geese fly overhead...

 

...along with some Sandhill Cranes!

 

We finally catch up with raptor expert Bill Clark, who's caught a Harris' Hawk!

 

   

Showing off the beautiful chestnut shoulder patches and wing linings.

 

Bill's assistant Mike shows off the hawk.

 

Mike uses his finger to get the hawk's attention and (hopefully) keep her from biting him!

 

Close-up of the Harris'.

 

SeEtta gets to hold her!

 

Here Bill shows us the lure he uses to trap the hawks:  a bait animal is placed inside, and when the hawk tries to catch it, their feet are caught in the mesh (which doesn't harm the birds at all).

 

His big surprise was this juvenile Swainson's Hawk!

 

Here Bill shows how the wingtips reach the tip of the tail.

 

       

The buffy coloration will bleach out as the bird gets older.

 

 

The Birder Patrol West poses with the Swainie (L-R:  Bill, Bob, Pat, me, and Mary Jane)

 

Head shot.

Everyone gathers around as Bill and Gus demonstrate how they attach a tracker to the bird.

        

The transmitter is powered by a solar panel...

    

...which has to be carefully tied onto the bird (who is clearly not happy about the arrangement...).

    

Almost looks like a surgery!

 

While all this is going on, Pat pulls out the raptor book that Bill literally wrote, and shows some pointers to a local family that stopped by!

       

A few head shots (note the tongue sticking out at left)...

...and he's all set to go!

   

Pat admires the bird as it makes its getaway (they routinely hold their newly-banded leg down until they get used to it...)!

   

The guys have caught a juvenile Harris' Hawk that the participants get to display!

     

Head and foot shots

A captured juvenile Red-tailed Hawk with smoke plumes from other cane field burns in the background; these burns attract raptors from all around as they provide BBQ prey items (and live ones fleeing the flames)!

Head shot showing the unique "hole in the tongue" that allows a constant flow of oxygen into the bird's lungs while in flight.

   

Now I get to hold it!

       

Head and foot shots.

We run into a massive goose flock on the way home (look hard for the smaller Ross' in the far right quarter of the picture)!

Most of the white ones are Snow Geese, while the dark ones with white faces are Greater White-fronted Geese

 

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