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#bigbad_raptors264 POSTS

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Young ospreys are fledging all over the place. Which means great opportunities to find them in photo friendly spots much lower than their typically very high up nests. I found a trio of osprey siblings hanging out near their nest on some athletic fields today. This one was perched on a soccer goal near the edge if the field. Allowed me to carefully sneak up close in the wooded area next to the field for some close ups. Ospreys are typically skittish and won't allow you to get very close. But fledglings are more tolerant. And these ones especially since they are used to lots of human traffic on the fields below their nest. Cool experience. They will be hanging around for a few weeks to sharpen their instinctive flying and fishing skills. Then begin a several thousand mile migration to Central or South America to live for their first couple years.
Attention please! All voles report to the surface immediately.
The Snowy Owls just keep on coming. This is a new one I located today in the middle of an open field in a very busy suburban area. And, as usual, I didn't have my big camera with. But, I did have my digiscoping gear. This is from 150 meters shot through my spotting scope from inside my car.
Went looking for a Snowy Owl on the way to work this morning. And, found one. Gotta find 'em while I can because it won't be long before they head back toward the Arctic. I got some decent photos of this young owl today despite poor early morning light. Hit the link to my Flickr stream on my IG profile to see more.
Here's a little better photo of the Snowy Owl my family and I located in Duluth the other day. I posted a panoramic version of this photo on my Flickr stream. Hit the link on my IG profile to see it and others.
Ornithology experts are saying there's a historic invasion of Snowy Owls happening now, mainly in the Northeastern U.S. coast and along the coasts of the Great Lakes. If you live in these areas, now may be your best chance ever to see one of these rare and amazing birds that typically live in the arctic circle. Search the web for "snowy owl invasion 2013" to find more info including maps of sightings. And, if you do happen to see one, please keep a safe distance away. The owls are moving south in search of food and are typically worn out and stressed. Report any sightings through and report any injured birds to your local wildlife support resources. This is my photo of an adult male owl taken at the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport in December 2011.
Almost forgot it's Falcon Friday. Here's a fresh shot of a Saker Falcon from the Last Chance Forever show at the Minnesota State Fair. Great chance to see some beautiful raptors up close and personal. #birdfreaks #birdfreak_ff
I made a quick [email protected] check on a local peregrine falcon family today. And look who landed right by me.
This is one way I celebrate my birthday. Banding baby ospreys. Here's a five week old stretching his talons.
This morning, I was invited to help band chicks at one of the osprey nests I monitor. Great experience, as always. Here is a 4 week old chick banded and ready to go back in the nest. Even at four weeks, the talons are already nearing adult size (about the size of your outstretched hand). And check out that full crop sticking out right below the neck. The crop acts as a storage chamber for extra food. This little one is well fed and will be ready to fledge in a few weeks. 😊
It's Falcon Friday and Father's Day is straight ahead. I've been continuing to monitor osprey nests for two local programs. All but one of the 7 nests I watch are active this season. And, almost all of them have hatched chicks very recently. Once the chicks hatch, mom is on constant sentry duty on the nest to protect from predators (owls, raccoons, etc) and shield the chicks from the elements. And, osprey dads are now on full-time fishing duty to keep their families (and themselves) well fed. With very fast-growing chicks, that means fish after fish after fish delivery. Fun to watch and listen. Have a great weekend! 😄
Did someone say it's uh Falcon Friday?
Falcon Friday! Order up! Here's another photo from the Spring Raptor Release event. Can you guess what it is?
This is my favorite photo taken at the raptor release a couple weekends ago. Pi, a 4th year bald eagle, displaying his newly grown first round of adult white head feathers. Works well in black and white.
Somebody say "Falcon Friday"? Order up! 🔔✨ - Meet Juneau, a resident education bird at the U of MN Raptor Center. I took this photo at the Spring Raptor Release event last weekend. Happy Falcon Friday! Have a great weekend. 🍺😃
Discovered this young explorer out in the woods yesterday. Can you guess what it is?
Yet another April snow storm warning means I'm feeling owly today. Here's a Great Horned Owl I photographed at the Duluth Zoo a few weeks ago.
It Falcon Friday. How bout an osprey? Look carefully, and see if you can guess what he's caught. I watched this guy and his family last summer. And, they were quite resourceful at hunting. #birdfreaks