Birds of Prey


The Gyrfalcon was photographed at Granville Island in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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This white phase Gyrfalcon is barred on the back side and spotted below, and is the largest of falcons that reigns on desolate coasts of the high Arctic. It has a range of Arctic regions; circumpolar. It’s habitat is Arctic barrens, seacoasts, and open mountains. They feed on mainly birds and some mammals. Gyrfalcons may vary in color phase from blackish, gray, and white. Most Gyrfalcons remain in the far north all year; only a few come as far south as Canada border in winter.

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This Broad-Winged Hawk was photographed in Pittsboro, North Carolina

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The Broad-Winged Hawk is a small hawk (about the size of a Crow) with brown back and head, a tanned patterned chest, a white tail banding about as wide as the black, and with white wing linings. Its range is southern Canada and eastern half of United States. It winters in Central and South America. It has a habitat of coniferous forests, and groves often near water and/or clearings. It feeds on small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds. It hunts small prey from a perch in the woods.

 

The Peregrine Falcon was photographed at the Wisconsin State Fair from the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Peregrine Falcon was photographed at the Wisconsin State Fair from the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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The Peregrine Falcon is crow size with slaty-back, light chest barred and spotted below. It has noted heavy black sideburns, pointed wings and a narrow barred tail. It has a range nearly worldwide. It has a habitat of open country, cliffs, and sometimes cities. It feeds on mostly birds, and is a reason birds scatter when it is around. It is one of the world’s fastest birds and is noted with power-diving from great heights to strike prey. It is regarded by falconers as one of the noblest and spectacular of all birds of prey. It is an endangered species.

 

The rehabbed Northern Saw-Whet Owl was photographed at the Wisconsin State Fair from the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee.

The rehabbed Northern Saw-Whet Owl was photographed at the Wisconsin State Fair from the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee.

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the Saw-Whet Owl

The Northern Saw-Whet Owl is a very small tame-like Owl brown in color with white braces on the back and brown streaking below, and with a pale buffy facial disc. It is fairly common but hard to spot in nature. It has a range from southeast Alaska, Canada, western and northeast United States to central Mexico. It has a habitat of forests, conifers and groves. They roost in dense cavities or in dense vegetation. Their diet is mostly small rodents, and swoop down on their prey at night from a high perch. These birds have exceptional hearing and vision at low light and night.

Select this link to see info on the Saw-Whet Owl

Select this link to see other info on Saw-Whet Owls

 

This Osprey was photographed in Gumbalimba Park in Roatan, Honduras.

This Osprey was photographed in Gumbalimba Park in Roatan, Honduras.

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The Osprey is black above and white below with a white head that has a black head stripe and cheek patches. It is also known as the “Fish Hawk”, and was called this in Honduras. The range of the Osprey is almost anywhere in the world, except Antarctica. It has a habitat of rivers, lakes, and coasts. It feeds almost entirely on fish, as can be seen in it’s claw. It hovers over its prey and plunges feet first for the fish, then flies away.

The light phase Swainson's Hawk was photographed at Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area in Montana

The light phase Swainson’s Hawk was photographed at Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area in Montana

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This Swainson’s Hawk is a light phase brown above with a tan breast band and white face, and a narrow gray-banded rounded tail often ending in white. It has a range of northwestern North America to northern Mexico, mostly western. It has a habitat of plains, range, and open hills, sparse trees. Usually soars over the grassland, or by perching and scanning the ground.

The female Merlin was photographed at Humboldt Park in Bayview, Wisconsin

The female Merlin was photographed at Humboldt Park in Bayview, Wisconsin

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the Merlin

The female Merlin is a small compact falcon, slightly larger than a Jay, with dusky brown above, a bold streaked breast, and a broad black-banded tail. It has a range of the Northern parts of the Northern Hemisphere and summers mainly in Canada and Alaska. It has a habitat of open conifer woodlands, prairie groves, and in migration foothills, marshes, and open country. It feeds on mostly small birds, large insects, rodents, bats and reptiles. It is a fast flying bird swooping down on birds in the air and the ground.

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