My Bird Blog: A blog about my birding discoveries, bird feeders, birds on my life lists, and all things bird related

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Raptor Nesters

Published February 28, 2013
Tags: Life List Happenings, Great Horned Owl, Bald Eagle

I had two very cool experiences over the last few days - and coincidentally, both involved nesting raptors.

My son and I took a couple hour hike through Iroquois Wildlife Refuge. It's a big park so we only discovered a small part of it. I can't wait to return in the spring when it will be alive with spring migrants! We saw quite a few woodpeckers that day, along with Wild Turkeys, Canada Geese, Mallards, and Crows. There was evidence everywhere of Pileateds, but we never did lay eyes on one - only Downys, Hairys, and Red-bellieds. The cheerful chirps of the ubiquitous Black-capped Chickadee were everywhere - and Red-tails were getting flushed around every bend! We're pretty sure we saw 2 Northern Harriers - giving our trip's total hawk count a personal record-breaker of 19!

The best sighting of the day, though, was at a lookout station where we could make out a Bald Eagle sitting on her nest. I'm including a photo where you can just make her out at the top of the nest. It was a bright, sunny day, but she was very far out. I need a stronger lens!

The next day, brought an unexpected lifer: the very awesome sight of a Great Horned Owl sitting on her nest. This was thanks to a personal invitation from a good friend. I have a couple of photos of the owl - but, again, distance - and this time, a rainy/snowy gray day made for poor photos. I think they're good enough to make out, though.
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Bald Eagle sitting on her nest at Iroquois Wildlife Refuge
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Tom looking for deer antlers
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Signs of Pileated Woodpeckers were everywhere
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A male Downy Woodpecker
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Great Horned Owl sitting on her nest
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Great Horned Owl sitting on her nest
Reply from: PAT FISCUS on 3/15/2013 9:42 AM
 Thank you for the enjoyable posts, I thoroughly enjoy them and look forward to more!
Reply from: Sue on 3/15/2013 10:23 AM
 Thank you so much! :)