Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Birds of Prey

Happy Holidays everyone.  As 2013 wraps up, I've got a couple things on my mind like a few more books to read and why my goals of 2014 will be.  How do I want to grow as a birder?  I guess I have a few things to reflect on before I can answer that.  I'll save that heavy lifting for another blog.

Some of the birds I admired before becoming a birder are birds of prey.  Admiration for birds of prey are far and wide spread.  Cruises to watch Bald Eagles are often filled and they are almost universally seen across the world as symbols of strength.  The Golden Eagle is the animal that most often appears on shields, family crests, and flags.  It is a symbol of tremendous strength and beauty.  Owls are also seen across the work as 

On one of my last walks in Connecticut, the group I was with was lucky enough to see 2 amazing birds of prey.  A Merlin and 2 Great Horned Owls.  They are 2 amazing birds.  Merlins are small and powerful falcons that prey on other birds.  They were known before as pigeon hawks.  Its easy to see how these powerful birds can prey on other birds and mammals.  The Merlin we encountered presented themselves well to the whole group and everyone was able to get great shots of them.  Merlins are built tough and look the part.

The Great Horned Owl seems to be different as they seem more slender and less stocky than the Merlin.  But the Great Horned Owl is also an incredible bird of prey.  Pound for pound it is one of the fiercest birds of prey in North America.  They can take down a Canada Goose that is almost three times heavier than the average owl.  Seeing them in the wild is an impressive sight.

Recently I visited the American Museum of Natural History and they had 2 cases full of Birds of Prey.  Amazing sights to see and enjoy.  A great exercise to really get a feel for the difference between the different Birds of Prey of North America.  Until next time, go birding!

Most definitely a Merlin

A Merlin for Sure

Can You see the Owl?

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