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

Sue's Bird Blog Archives

March Raptors

Published March 16, 2015
Tags: General Observations, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk

Spring is taking its sweet time to arrive here in Western New York and I've been quite antsy to see some birds. I decided to take a couple of long drives to see if I couldn't spot something interesting.

Up to Niagara County, I did see a couple of major Turkey Vulture roosts; with at least 30 vultures congregating on the roof of a church and in the nearby evergreens.  Over at the Art Park area, I finally saw a couple of Black Vultures circling high in the skies above the top of the escarpment. This is one of the couple / few places where a Black Vulture can be reliably found.

Did you know that a Turkey Vulture has a pretty keen sense of smell and that Black Vultures will associate with them for that extra advantage?

A few days later, I headed south to Cattaraugus County and came upon a group of 6 Bald Eagles out on the ice along the Allegany River. There were a few Canada Geese, two Northern Pintails, and 8 Common Mergansers in a small patch of unfrozen water nearby. Oddly, the ducks didn't seem concerned with the eagles. On my way back by this same spot, I saw the eagles were flying over the road and stopping in the trees along the steep hill. I got out and managed to get a few flight shots, which later revealed that one adult was banded. I couldn't read the characters so there was no chance to find out the details on that bird.

A little closer to home, in South Wales, I re-visited one of the Red-shouldered Hawks that I've become familiar with. This time, one of the pair allowed me a little closer views and, through the snowfall, I got a few better photos. S/he stayed perched for quite awhile, intermittently preening and scratching.  It was a really nice behavioral study that I don't often get.
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Turkey Vultures in Niagara County
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Black Vulture in Niagara County
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Red-tailed Hawk on Grand Island
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Red-tailed Hawk at the Hamburg Hawk Watch
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Sharp-shinned Hawk at the Hamburg Hawk Watch
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Sharp-shinned Hawk at the Hamburg Hawk Watch
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Immature Bald Eagle in Cattaraugus County
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Immature Bald Eagle - I wish I had caught the entire bird for this shot!
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Adult Bald Eagle in Cattaraugus County
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Adult Bald Eagle in Cattaraugus County
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Red-shouldered Hawk in South Wales
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Red-shouldered Hawk
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Red-shouldered Hawk