Raptors, Raptors, Raptors

Ferruginous hawk, juvenile, buteo (broad-winged, short tails)

White- tailed kite, adult,  (long pointed wings, hovers while hunting)

Coopers Hawk, juvenile accipiter (long tailed,short rounded wings)

Red tail hawk, adult(dark phase), Buteo (broad wings and short tails)

Thursday, November 6th at 10:00 AM.

It flew in front of me, across a field and landed on the top of a valley oak. This Ferruginous hawk was very white with a small amount of banding across its chest. The tail as it flew by was bright white, but the thing that I noticed right away was how large it was!  This buteo type hawk, is much bigger than our Redtail hawk which is a resident, and found commonly here all year round. Soon the Ferruginous started calling and screaming, at me I think. Just at that moment, 4 white tailed kites began flying in sweeps across the field. There was one immature with rusty coloring on its’ chest and 2 of the adults were passing food to it. White tailed kites are also year round residents, in the Willits’ valley, but the Ferruginous Hawk is a winter migrant coming down from the north. Some will stay for a couple of weeks to 2 months, while others just move through and keep going all the way into Mexico. It is always exciting to see them in the Willits’ valley.

The next day, I was in the same area and there was another Ferruginous hawk sitting in a different tree so easily identified as a new one because it was an adult with way more banding of brown on its’ belly! This day I also spotted a beautiful Coopers Hawk, an accipiter type hawk eyeing the many Meadowlarks out grazing in the field. A female Kestrel, which is a type of Falcon, was hunting from the fence post. It is a great time to be out looking at raptors in the valley!

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