Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Being a stubborn git can pay off (i.e. the 5 raptor day)

When I woke up this morning, I realized that evil sinus fairies had stealthily stole into the bedroom last night and replaced my brain with wet cotton balls.
(I am a sneezing, snuffling, half-comatose mess right now. And a bit high on Robitussin. You have been warned)

Lorelei and I went out, with no particular goals. We "made the rounds" of the local birdy areas, starting with Lake Isabella. There has been a nesting can for great horned owls there for years. Last year, after incubating for nearly 30 days, the female disappeared after a really horrible ice storm. (Click HERE for a "Sunday Sketch" of the nest)
I have been checking that can for the past 2 weeks, and was ready to give up. Maybe they are taking a break this year.
No, I say! NO! I will check one more time...one more time. And my anal fixation of this nest has paid off. She was on nest today.
Day 1 of incubation:

Great horned owl nesting 012908

See the ear tufts?

Plumicorns in a can

I was so thrilled. (Despite the evil sinus fairies) And Lorelei was, too. She has been as hopeful as me about this nest.
So, that's raptor #1 today.

Then it was Armleder Park, the home of this season's RAPTOR-PALOOZA.

First bird (raptor #2) as we came into the park was Skippy, the Welcome Kestrel:

Skippy the Welcome Kestrel

The car was right next to this sign, and he could have cared less.
"Welcome to Armleder. Please obey all rule and regulations. Please keep all dogs on leash. Please park only in designated areas. Enjoy your visit, and have a wonderful day."

He also doubles as the Traffic Bird:
Kestrel stop
*whistling...."Stop! In the name of looooooooove..."

Raptor #3 was one of the spazzy harriers who are calling Armleder home for the winter.
Raptor #4 was a PEREGRINE FALCON trying to get out of the way of said spazzy harrier. He/she took off across the river to go eat some pigeons off the Beechmont levy.

Why did I have to go all the way to Cape May, New Jersey to see my life PF, when they live HERE? Why, I say?

Raptor #5 was a red-tailed hawk at Exit #14, at mile marker 14 off I-71 (affectionately called the "Mile Marker 14 Bird" by some RAPTOR, Inc. members.

Just think. If it had been a bit colder, I would have seen the short-eared owls. That would have been #6. And if our resident red-shouldered hawk had been hanging around the yard, that would have been #7. Or our barred owl. That would have been #8. That would have been too fantastic to handle.


LauraHinNJ said...

You came all the way to Cape May NJ to meet me and the rest of the flock, silly!


Love the kestral... stop! in the name of love..


Trixie said...

Can that kestrel read? Hmmmm....Zicam nasal swabs, they really, really work!

KatDoc said...

Hey, Susan - I finally saw the hawk nest at the Loveland exit off I-275. Is that Red-tailed or Red-shouldered? Will they use that nest year after year, like owls and eagles, or will they abandon it and start a new one?

Glad to hear the GHOW is back at Lake Isabelle. I wish her better luck this year. I saw one on a wire along SR 133 in the predawn hours before I left for FLA about 2 weeks ago.

Did you get to Mason for the N. Saw-whet Owl?


egretsnest said...

Congrats on the 5 raptor day! Very cool!

Hope you feel better quickly!

Mike said...

Love that kestrel. They're usually not so civic-minded.

Mary said...

Hope you are feeling better by now. I love those little ears above the nest :o)

dguzman said...

Ditto what Laura said! You HAD to come hang out with us because we're so cool! Sheesh. I can't believe we have to tell you these things, kid.

tee hee--I enjoyed calling you "kid," kid! hee hee hee!