Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 so far: eagly, and more.

A quick drive to the Reifel Bird sanctuary revealed that much of the Lower Mainland, certainly all of it between here and there, is covered in eagles.  Ladner in particular is beset by the feathered beasts, which perch on trees outside suburban homes, and even on light posts, displacing the smaller Red-tails, who are flapping around feeling bullied and lost.

Artistic pair.

But the raptor of the day was this one, on the east dyke of the sanctuary.  I think it's a juvenile Northern Goshawk, a bird I've only seen a few times.  The shape, spilled-gravy splotchiness of the streaking, and the faint eyebrow are what I'm going on.
Here's another shot with the brightness blasted.  It was one of those bright but grey days that challenge an unskilled photographer.


Out Walking the Dog said...

I just got back from a trip to BC - Vancouver, then Garden Bay on the Sunshine Coast. So many eagles this year! I couldn't believe it. Perching, soaring, near and far. The oddest was a bird perched on a low tree branch directly to the side of the road that heads up the coast, near Sechelt. I've never seen one so close. Seemed strange. Also my BC friends tell me there are more bear, cougar and even wolf sightings than ever. Do you agree? IF so, why do you think this is?

Hugh said...

OWtD, I don't know anything about the mammals (except for the bear who rode a garbage truck into downtown a couple weeks ago), and every winter we see a lot of eagles. Whether this is an especially high year or not, we'll have to wait for the results of the Christmas bird counts. The numbers of salmon in the late fall runs have some effect as to where the eagles will overwinter, but I have no specific information about this year. But yesterday there sure were a lot.

Susannah (Wanderin' Weeta) said...

We've been seeing more hawks than usual, these days, hunting over the Delta farmland or on poles and trees by the highway. (Why do they always watch there? They can't expect to catch a car, and there are no mice, live ones anyhow, on the road.)

I usually can't identify them, mostly because I'm driving. I just see streaky breast, white breast, or flap-and-glide, and then we're past.

Hugh said...

Susannah, I've heard the idea that garbage collected in ditches, including such delectables as discarded appple cores out car windows, attract voles and rats-- which are easily spied from a light standard. It works out okay for the raptor if it's not diving across the flow of traffic. As for numbers of hawks, I don't know enough to judge if there are more than usual around this year.

Susannah (Wanderin' Weeta) said...

That makes sense! Something to be said for littering, after all.

mainly mongoose (Lynda) said...

I love the 'spilled gravy'; just perfect.