Bird of Prey Paradise

     While I was on my final trip with GOS this past weekend at Elbow Swamp Water Treatmeant Facility, I saw many cool birds like Wilson’s Snipe, Short-Billed Dowitcher, Northern Flicker, Virginia Rail, Sora, and King Rail, White Ibis, and Blue-Headed Vireo.  The thing that really stuck out to me, however, was the gathering of 5 species of birds of prey all that showed up all in a row in about a 2 square mile area in just 15 minutes!

As we drove along, we spotted the first bird of prey in a tree looking straight at us, a Red-Shouldered Hawk.  We drove past him as he sat their searching the area for prey.  About 10 minutes later we were treated to the smallest bird of prey in North America, the American Kestrel (a lifer for me), who was sitting on a telephone wire turning his head in all directions looking for food.  Very soon after that, a peregrine falcon came swooping in and dive bombed a bird, but did not catch it.  Almost immediately, a juvenile Bald Eagle was seen soaring high over all of the other birds, using its keen eyesight to spot a nice lunch.  As we got back into the car, a less liked, but still a bird of prey, joined the party, the Turkey Vulture.  I may have seen a pleothra of vultures in one spot before, but never have I witnessed such a cool sight as that of the five individual species of bird of prey in such a small area!


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