Well, it's that time of year again. Birds are starting to fly south, and that means I get to trap a few raptors as they migrate down the ridge near Mt. Hood. Our catch today included Sharp-shinned Hawks, Cooper's Hawks, a Red-tailed Hawk, and an American Kestrel. Each gets a uniquely-numbered leg band (which will identify it if ever captured or found dead in the future), and is measured and weighed before being released to continue its journey. It is through projects like this that we have come to know so much about the migration of these raptors.
Watching and handling these beautiful predators is part of what helps me to lean into fall and the coming cold.
Here, my daughter Aurora holds a hatch-year female Cooper's Hawk.