Monday, February 16, 2015

Raptor Road Trip

The annual Raptor Road Trip to Sauvie Island is something we look forward to each February. Although the birds never disappoint, sometimes the weather is rotten.  This year, we got there just in time to find the rain subsiding and glorious rainbows filling the sky!  This is a place where the birding is always tremendous, most especially with binoculars or a spotting scope.  While many of the birds we saw were not in my camera range, we certainly saw lots of raptors through scopes shared by generous volunteers. Along the way we discovered that the great blue heron rookery we have observed in the past is once again in use.  Great blue herons nest high in the canopies of trees and often nest in groups of dozens or hundreds of nests. Soon, the trees they are nesting in will be leafing out and the nests will be much harder to spot.  After stopping at each of the viewpoints, we went to Howell Territorial Park to see the Audubon Society release a red tailed hawk.  It had been taken to their Wildlife Care Center after colliding with the window of a houseboat.  After recovering fully from a concussion, it was once again ready to soar.  We love watching their releases. They never fail to lift the spirits!  Their education birds were in attendance.  Jasper knows them by name and was excited to see them.  

Snow geese.
Snow geese.
Sandhill cranes.  Sauvie Island is famous for these elegant birds.
Heron rookery.
A nesting heron.
Ruby the turkey vulture.
Jack Sparrowhawk the American Kestrel.
Julio the great horned owl.
Finnegan the peregrine falcon.
The red tailed hawk is gently carried to be released.
A few moments before flying away.


Mama Gone Green said...

Wow! Those rainbow pictures are just amazing!!

Laura Lucanidae said...

Thank you! I don't know when I've seen rainbows stay in the sky so long.