Hawks Feeding and Bald Eagle at San Jacinto Wildlife

N Harrier with  prey

N Harrier with prey

bald_eagle_juve6009Bald Eagle Juvenile at San Jacinto redtailed_young5795Red-tailed Hawk takeoff redtailed_flight5965Red-tailed hawk takeoff nharrier_dinner5865N Harrier with bird prey

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk confused after the Harrier took off with prey (see top photo)

At San Jacinto Wildlife Area on Tues I managed to photograph both a Red-tailed Hawk and N Harrier  Hawk feeding on prey (unidentified birds) on the ground. The Harrier was having a nice lunch when a Red-tailed Hawk swooped down and tried to take it but the Harrier was faster and she picked up the half-eaten bird and got away clean. As I left the preserve 2 juvenile Bald Eagles flew by and then began kettling with Red-tailed Hawks.

Golden Eagles and Bald Eagle-Juveniles

Juvenile Golden Eagle

Juvenile Bald Eagle

Juvenile Bald EagleJuvenile Bald Eagle

Golden Eagles Juveniles

Golden Eagles at San Jacinto Wildlife Area near Perris, CA today. The top and pair in flight are juvenile Golden and juvenile Bald Eagles in the other images. They were in flight near the rocky peak on the north as you enter the preserve.

Bald Eagles and Snowy Owls

Bald Eagle portrait eagle_scream3524 snowy-owl3599Snowy Owl



short_eared_owl3671Short-Eared Owl eagle_fluffy3328Bald Eagle eagle_fight_23822Bald Eagles Fighting eagle_fight3823Mature Bald Eagle Fighting with Juvenile eagle_flight3863Bald Eagle in Flight eagle-land3910Bald Eagle Landing  snowy24280Female Snowy Owl snowy_takeoff4109Snowy Owl on Takeoff snowy_owl4110Snowy Owl Takeoff snowy_owl4048Snowy Owl on Driftwood snowy_flight4115Snowy Owl in Flight snowy_flight4113Snowy Owl in Flight

We just got back from a trip to the Seattle area and north to near the Canadian border to photograph Bald Eagles and Snowy Owls. The Eagles were feeding on the last of the Chum Salmon run on the Nooksack River and we saw over 50 eagles on the first day with the numbers decreasing the next day to less than 25. A week or two earlier there were over 100 or more in the area. They move from river to river where the most Salmon are located. Earlier they were more plentiful on the Skagit River.  The peak of the season is mid Dec to early Jan with as many as 200-300 in a short stretch of river.

The Snowy Owls only come down from Canada and Alaska in the Winter to the coastal areas of Washington state, Oregon, and all along the Northern US border. Last year the numbers were much greater ( an Irruption year) and there were not as many this year. The big numbers happen only every 5 years or so when the food supply in the North is low or a large number of Juveniles have to find new territories with more voles or mice to eat. It is necessary to keep your distance as they flush easily and your movements need to be very slow and gradual. These were shot on a Canon 7D with a 400 mm 5.6 lens. Toward sunset or early morning are the best times with softer light for the Snowy Owls.

Ducks- Santee Lakes, San Diego, County, Ca

Wood Duck Santee Lakes

Wood Duck
Santee Lakes

Wood Duck

Wood Duck

wd_duck_female2383Female Wood Duck ring_necked_duck2347Ring-necked Duck

mallard_landing2476Mallard Landing at Santee Lakes bewicks_wren2193Bewick’s Wren    Fallbrook, CA


Last week I went to Santee Lakes in San Diego County off the 52 freeway, Mast exit north where hundreds of Ducks winter including possibly 30 or more Wood Ducks. This is one of the few places they can be found in our area and they also nest here in the Spring. Other species include American Wigeon, Ring_necked Duck, and lots of Coots. Also found are Ospreys, Belted Kingfishers, warblers, and several Hawk species- including Red-tailed, Cooper’s, and occasionally Zone-tailed.

American Wigeon

American Wigeon