Bald Eagle…

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I’ve been stalking this eagle off and on for a few days. It is tough to get close enough for a really decent shot…this is the best so far. When it gets a little warmer, I’ll go out and sit still on a stump for a few hours in hopes for a better photo. This bird is probably a winter migrator as we normally don’t see any around here. Such a majestic creature.

House Finch…

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He loves sunflower seeds. The industrial strength beak is perfect for cracking seeds. His girlfriend is behind, being shy.

American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)…

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The Kestrel, sometimes known as the Sparrow Hawk, is the smallest falcon in North America. It will sit on a high wire or fence waiting to prey on grasshoppers, lizards, mice and other small birds. It’s quite often seen along road sides, not often bothered by traffic unless you stop to take a photo. This picture doesn’t do it justice, as the back side is really quite colorful.

Hold the gravy…

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I had some leftover biscuits which the Red-bellied woodpeckers really went for. This one would keep flying off with pieces which he would poke into the crevices of trees, presumedly to feed on later when times get hard.

Harlan’s Hawk…

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I believe this is a Harlan’s Hawk, due to its coloration. Some experts consider this to be a sub-species of the Red-tailed Hawk, others think it is a separate species. First described by John James Audubon in 1829. He referred to it as Falco Harlani (after R. Harlan, a physician and naturalist).

Feeding the geese…

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Crested Duck (Lophonetta specularioides)…

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The crest on Crested Ducks arose from a genetic mutation specifically bred into the bird by duck breeders. The mutation is  a deformed spot on the skull which gives rise to the topnotch. It seems a quarter of all Crested Ducks die when they hatch because the crest is not properly formed and leaves the duckling’s brain fatally exposed. They are cute though.

Chickenhawk…

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I posted about the Red-tailed hawk a while back. This one likes to take up watch on this sign post not 10 feet from a busy highway. It will stay there for long periods of time with traffic whizzing by, but if you stop within 50 feet it will take off. I had to park in a lot across the street and shoot between the passing trucks to  have it sit still long enough. These hawks are legally protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Ugly Duckling…

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The Black Swan (Cygnus astratus) is native to the southern parts of Australia, so finding this lone bird in a small lake populated by about 150 ducks and geese means it was placed here by someone. I’m wondering if it has an identity complex, being around all these smaller foul. They need to find a mate for this one to make things right. The red bill and eyes contrasting the black feathers make this an awesome looking bird. These swans may grow to as much as 20 pounds.

Northern Flicker…

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Such an attractive Woodpecker.

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