Friday, July 6, 2007

Rare Chance

A rare opportunity was afforded me today, one I don't anticipate ever happening again. I had the chance to band several nestling Swainson's Hawks (Buteo swainsoni), a nestling Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis), and a fledgling Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis).

The circumstance that made this unlikely was that the Ferruginous Hawk was anomalously late (most fledged a month ago). Then too, I had to cover a lot of ground (though that can be all in a day's work this time of year). The hawks were in the shrub-steppe habitat in the northeastern part of the 10th largest state; the owl was in the forests of the east slope of the central Oregon Cascades.

Swainson's Hawks are the latest nesters among all of Oregon's raptors. This is in part because of their long migration to Argentina and back. Most of the nests were farther along, though, than the one pictured above.

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