There are about four hundred species of birds we call "raptors" of which most are falcons, hawks, eagles, owls, and so forth. I believe there are about 40 in what is considered the United States (from a person, not a bird, perspective) and many of them are found across much of the US, with the usual breaks across the Rockies, and a certain amount of north-south geography, and varying degrees of migration. A typical page There are 69 species of raptors, many overlapping with those in the US, in Mexico (which is part of North America, from a human perspective) and Central America.…
The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors is just now coming out. I was able to spend a little time with it a few weeks ago, though my official copy has not arrived yet. But Princeton (the publisher) is organizing a major blog hoopla over the publication of this new book, and I've signed on to participate. Starting yesterday a number of bird-related blogs are producing posts related to this book. My post comes out next Tuesday and it will consist of a quiz, a bird quiz. Anyone who gets the quiz right will be eligible for random selection, and whoever gets randomly selected will be hooked up with…
The role of Velociraptor's infamous claw has received much attention from scientists ever since they clicked their way across a movie kitchen. In comparison, the formidable claws of living raptors (birds of prey) have received little attention. Eagles, hawks, falcons and owls are some of the most widespread and well-liked of all birds. They are superb hunters and even though it's always been suspected that they use their talons to kill, we know amazingly little about their techniques. Denver Fowler (great name for an ornithologist) and colleagues from Montana State University have changed…
tags: Beauty and the prosthetic beak, bald eagle, human technology, birds, raptors, streaming video The Bald Eagle Beauty's beak was shot off in Alaska leaving her unable to feed herself. In this streaming video, you see Birds of Prey NW fitting her with a prosthetic beak. She cannot be released into the wild but will serve as an educational bird showing that human compassion can undue human cruelty. [3:51].
tags: osprey, fish eagle, Pandion haliaetus, raptors, streaming video This streaming video, courtesy of National Geographic, shows a brief glimpse into the life of the osprey, or fish eagle, Pandion haliaetus. It's amazing to see the size of the trout that these birds catch and carry to their nests. This video features some really interesting visual angles, too [2:34].
tags: birds, Swainson's Hawk, Buteo swainsoni, ornithology, Image of the Day A long-time reader, Jerry, sent some images for me to feature as the "image of the day". He referred to these as "some friends to help you tend your wing". Swainson's Hawk, Buteo swainsoni. Image: Jerry Kram. [larger size].
tags: birds, Red-tailed hawk, Buteo jamaicensis, ornithology, Image of the Day A long-time reader, Jerry, sent some images for me to feature as the "image of the day". He referred to these as "some friends to help you tend your wing". Red-tail hawk, Buteo jamaicensis. Image: Jerry Kram. [larger size].
tags: birds, ornithology, Image of the Day This photo was taken in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Have you any idea what it is? The photographer thought it was an owl, but a friend of the photographer thinks it may be a young red-shouldered hawk -- but in Colorado? [larger view]. My guess is below the fold; I guess this is a partial leucistic red-tailed hawk, but it's really hard to tell!
tags: Caracara creightoni, fossils, birds, ornithology, Image of the Day The fossil skull of an extinct bird of prey, Caracara creightoni, preserved in an ancient sink-hole in the Bahamas. Several thousand years old, the fossils owe their exquisite preservation to immersion in peat. The bird is a relative of the crested caracara of Central and North America. Image: PNAS [larger view]