Good Raptor Day

Palm Beach County finally saw some cold weather this morning.  My car thermometer read 46 degrees when I got to Green Cay Wetlands this morning.  There was also a pretty good breeze of 10-15 MPH so we actually experienced a little wind chill. 

I love the cooler temperatures.  They often bring in new birds and I have plenty of warm clothes. My wonderful daughter Theresa knitted me a super fantastic pair of fingertipless gloves.  They do a fantastic job of keeping my hands warm and still allow me to manipulate my camera and binoculars.

Merlin ... the 148th species I've photographed in Palm Beach County this year!!

Today I walked around with Linda and her sister Carroll.  We saw many good birds including 5 Raptor species.  We had numerous Northern Harrier sightings, Coopers Hawk, Osprey, Red-shouldered and a new one for this year a gorgeous Merlin.

Coopers Hawk

The Coopers Hawk we saw today was one of the numerous juveniles we have at Green Cay.  I probably see 4 to 1 Juveniles to Adults.  You can age this one by the Yellow eye, an adults is Red and the chest pattern of dots. This is a definite sign of this guys age as an adults will have closely spaced barring similar to an adult Red-shouldered.

Red-shouldered Hawk

As we were watching the Coopers this Red-shouldered Hawk flew by.  While I’m not a Raptor expert I believe this is an older Juvenile.  It doesn’t have the barring of an adult and it’s probably a 2nd year bird.  I guess I now have something to study!  I love new challenges and I look forward to learning how to age our Florida default Hawk!!!

I had a wonderful morning birding with a good friend and a new friend.  Thanks for the visit and support.


About sheriffsmith

I have worked for the Broward County Sheriff's Office the last 13 years and spend most of my free time birdwatching / naturewatching and photographing the birds and nature that I encounter. I believe God has blessed us with a world that is so absolutely fascinating and wonderful and I'm doing my best to discover and show others all that he has provided us with in nature.
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One Response to Good Raptor Day

  1. Love all the shots! But that Merlin, WOW, he is sweet! What a great pose he did for you.

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