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View Full Version : Raptor birds, hawks, owls, eagles, etc.



Shang
12-22-2009, 10:03 PM
Last week Barb spotted a young Screech Owl hunkered by the roadside. We circled and picked him up. Evidently he had been hit by a car, he was favoring one wing, and one eye was damaged. We took him home and Barb hydrated him with electrolytes and fed him with finely sliced beef. Since his usual diet consists of mice I set a trap-line for wild mice, but in the meantime we bought a supply of frozen mice from PetsMart --Jeezus! these sell for sixty cents per mouse, and an owl eats two per day... a small owls eat two, hawks eat five or six!
You're not supposed to name raptor birds in treatment since only one in ten is expected to survive, but our Screech had a wonderful personality and such fight (he bit through my leather gloves and sank his talons into my wrists,) that I called him "Owl Capone."

This afternoon we passed Capone to a student from Missouri University's Raptor Rehabilitation Project. Barb has a federal license to possess raptors, but is not yet certified in Missouri. We'll miss Capone who has become a personality in the house, but if he makes it he will be given back to us to be returned to the place where we rescued him, to release him into his familiar habituate.

I'll let you know how this comes out.

If you are a hunter don't shoot hawks or owls. They are protected by federal law,
and besides, they eat their weight in mice and rats every day.

Phillip Allen
12-22-2009, 10:06 PM
should have got us some pics, darn it

skuthorp
12-22-2009, 10:10 PM
We rescued a wounded Perigrine some years ago, the Zoo vet got him airborne again. There's a Powerful Owl, that roosts in a tree at the end of our (Melbourne) drive and it often silently glides just overhead as we go for an evening walk.
http://www.google.com.au/url?source=imgres&ct=tbn&q=http://www.bencruachan.org/blog/ccreek/powlpr1.jpg&usg=AFQjCNGWAZRfN1kDfAWBKhmHS9KGG7PY0Q

TimH
12-22-2009, 10:11 PM
Good karma :)

I used to volunteer at a wildlife rehab sanctuary. We had a collection of different owls that were full timers (wing amputees, etc.). Owls can have great personalities.

Shang
12-22-2009, 10:13 PM
should have got us some pics, darn it

Okay, Barb took a few snapshots... I'll post these soon.

Shang
12-22-2009, 10:14 PM
Good for you guys!
Nice shots of the birds!

Chip-skiff
12-22-2009, 10:57 PM
I spotted a hurt owl (great horned) thrashing about on the snow and managed to catch it and get to a local vet who was connected with a raptor rehabilitation project.

The owl survived, and six months later we took part in its release.

One note of caution: owls and other raptors have extremely sharp and muscular talons, often carrying nasty bacteria that cause wounds to fester. So if you find a wounded raptor, get something (old wool blanket, hessian sack, etc.) to wrap it in and wear clothing (leather gloves, rain slicker, leather coat) that resists claw punctures.

These birds are not cuddly or glad to be capturedľ they'll fight like the devil. When trying to capture a wounded raptor, approach it from the back. With two people, one should be in front to distract it while the other comes up behind for the grab. Cover its head and avoid the beak and claws.

Don't get hurt and don't hurt the poor bird: happy ending for all.

Shang
12-22-2009, 11:06 PM
Here's Capone, pausing before crunching my left finger like vice-grip pliers and driving his talons through my leather gloves as if they were tissue paper...

Just the same, I miss him tonight...

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f93/shangboat/DSC_0553.jpg

BrandonHigley
12-22-2009, 11:07 PM
Thanksgiving morning I was out with my dogs in the front yard and a hawk that had been nesting in our neighborhood flew right down onto the iced over brook not 20 feet from us. My dog was leashed, but carrying on like mad and still the hawk ignored us all together. I think he must have been taking a drink where the ice was broken, but I was afraid that he was injured and so I took a few steps closer, as soon as I did he flew away. It was quite an experience to be that close to such an amazing creature.
Thank you Chip-skiff for that advice, had he been injured I wouldn't have know what to do.

Shang
12-22-2009, 11:27 PM
Thanksgiving morning I was out with my dogs in the front yard and a hawk that had been nesting in our neighborhood flew right down onto the iced over brook not 20 feet from us. My dog was leashed, but carrying on like mad and still the hawk ignored us all together. I think he must have been taking a drink where the ice was broken, but I was afraid that he was injured and so I took a few steps closer, as soon as I did he flew away. It was quite an experience to be that close to such an amazing creature.
Thank you Chip-skiff for that advice, had he been injured I wouldn't have know what to do.

Eagles are fairly common here on the lake during the winter--which doesn't mean that we take them for granted. Last winter we watched as two adult Bald Eagles fought concerning a fish they'd found over a frozen fish on the lake. T hey swooped and dive as they snapped at each other.
Their wings were over five feet in span as they fought nearly over us.
Finally they decided who was the victor, but dropped the fish and flew off together.

...Go figure...

Shang
12-22-2009, 11:41 PM
I spotted a hurt owl (great horned) thrashing about on the snow and managed to catch it and get to a local vet who was connected with a raptor rehabilitation project.

The owl survived, and six months later we took part in its release.

One note of caution: owls and other raptors have extremely sharp and muscular talons, often carrying nasty bacteria that cause wounds to fester. So if you find a wounded raptor, get something (old wool blanket, hessian sack, etc.) to wrap it in and wear clothing (leather gloves, rain slicker, leather coat) that resists claw punctures.

These birds are not cuddly or glad to be capturedľ they'll fight like the devil. When trying to capture a wounded raptor, approach it from the back. With two people, one should be in front to distract it while the other comes up behind for the grab. Cover its head and avoid the beak and claws.

Don't get hurt and don't hurt the poor bird: happy ending for all.

Absolutely right, Chip!
If you find an injured raptor bird,
Don't try to be friendly with the bird... he thinks that you are a preditor. Toss a blanket or your own jacket over him, call your local Fish & Game Department, and try to get the bird to a rehabilitator.
Watch out for the beak and talons--a big bear hug is probably safe, but give the bird your arms and glover-proctored arms to hold onto. Expect to be bitten or crunched with the bird's talons.

Remember, your goal is to deliver the bird to someone who is practiced in treating injured raptors.

Your reward is a wonderful story to be told, and the thought that you have helped a raptor bird to recover and fly again.

BrandonHigley
12-22-2009, 11:48 PM
The power of friendship over food. I know a few people who could learn from those eagles. :)
Our eagle sightings are much less frequent, but once in a while we see them around the mountain tops. I went for a day hike on the AT and found a nice rock ledge that overlooks our town. A movement caught my eye and about 30' or so out there was a bald eagle. At first I thought it was a buzzard, we have a lot of them around here, but then I realized it was an eagle.
What a day to have left the camera at home.

The Bigfella
12-23-2009, 12:00 AM
Good work!

We've still got the Kookaburra that my daughter rescued from the road a month or two back. It's in the aviary now, but it's confined to the bottom two feet or so, because it can't fly properly.

We were feeding it mealworms and mice / rats... and if you think 60c is dear... try $2.75 per rat... at two a day.... so we've graduated it to mince.

I don't think it will get released... Kookaburras kill strangers in their territory... even the original family group will kill their own if you can't get them back in the wild within 3 days.

Three Cedars
12-23-2009, 12:57 AM
Owls are interesting , pretty dumb on the intelligence scale but good hunters nevertheless.

Golden eagles have always had a grip on my imagination , just as long as that is all they have a hold of .... one of my best memories is of one chasing a grouse through a forest at high speed

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v296/Reddog12/Aquilatalons.jpg

purri
12-23-2009, 01:17 AM
We rescued a wounded Perigrine some years ago, the Zoo vet got him airborne again. There's a Powerful Owl, that roosts in a tree at the end of our (Melbourne) drive and it often silently glides just overhead as we go for an evening walk.
http://www.google.com.au/url?source=imgres&ct=tbn&q=http://www.bencruachan.org/blog/ccreek/powlpr1.jpg&usg=AFQjCNGWAZRfN1kDfAWBKhmHS9KGG7PY0Q
Yeah the old Ninox strenua rules the roost! BTW around 2 mega rich suburbs near us within 6km of the CBD there are a few roosting pairs. They dine on cats. :D
BTW they're about 40 inches plus in length. A possum takes abt 2 days to eat

The Bigfella
12-23-2009, 01:47 AM
Nah.. they aren't that big... I took one in to the Australian Museum a year or so back... had it in a plastic bag while I had a meeting with someone in the city then delivered it before it thawed out. Poor bugger died on the power lines in front of our neighbour's.

I posted photos of it - dead... and alive a year or so before, on our clothesline.

I'd say 24" or so.

skuthorp
12-23-2009, 02:14 AM
Blackbirds and mynas seem to be the preferred meal of our local group of Kooka's. Snakes too, saw them get two last year and we weren't there a lot. There are parents and two flying chicks here, and one is really large.

The Bigfella
12-23-2009, 02:52 AM
Here's the dead Powerful Owl that we found out the front.

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff112/igatenby/owl.jpg

botebum
12-23-2009, 09:06 AM
It's not uncommon for us to get Osprey tangled in our rigs while pier fishing for king mackerel. We usually keep a beach towel in our cart for such occasions. It takes up to 4 people to hold the bird and get it untangled. The tourists all get a kick out of watching a bunch of smelly drunks wrestle a bird while they cover their children's sensitive ears.

Doug

darroch
12-24-2009, 01:10 AM
Owls are interesting , pretty dumb on the intelligence scale but good hunters nevertheless.

Golden eagles have always had a grip on my imagination , just as long as that is all they have a hold of .... one of my best memories is of one chasing a grouse through a forest at high speed

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v296/Reddog12/Aquilatalons.jpg


That is truly impressive.

George Jung
12-25-2009, 02:58 PM
Wonderful thread, great photos. Seems we used to see a lot of owls, years ago - not so much now, though I did see a Great Horned awhile back. Mostly, variety of hawks, some falcons, and an increasing number of Bald Eagles.

I caught a bit on Jay Leno a few days ago - had a wildlife expert on, talking about raptors. One large owl - don't recall which - the host estimated weighed 40#, which caused his guest expert to laugh - apparently they're mostly feathers, weighed only a few pounds - but have extremely powerful talons, as others here have noted.

Thanks for the thread.

Tristan
12-26-2009, 07:50 PM
I have rescued and rehabilitated a number of birds over the past 60 years. One of the most memorable was a red shouldered hawk that blundered into a neighbors partially screened pool and had been trying vainly to get out of the screened side. I brought the bird home wrapped in a towel and released him on our screened back porch. He/she seemed to get his bearings after a few hours and I decided to try letting him go. In trying to move him out the door he sank his talons into the top of my hand between the second and fifth metacarpal bones. I froze. The hawk looked directly into my eyes and tightened his grip for just a second. I swear those bones in my hand fairly creaked. His grip was astonishing. There was some sort of powerful, mystical moment as the hawk's fierce eyes bored into mine. It was as if he was warning me about the damage he could do but chose not to do. Then he relaxed his grip and allowed me to take him outside where he flew to the rooftop, glared around for a moment and finally flew strongly away.

TimH
12-26-2009, 08:09 PM
You would be amazed at how strong the grip is even for a common raven.

2MeterTroll
12-26-2009, 08:15 PM
ya its amazing the power in a great horned.

Chip-skiff
12-26-2009, 10:45 PM
A friend in Michigan sighted a raptor she'd not seen before, and managed to take some wonderful photos:

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_XAqLuU8H28k/SzbXenjXH6I/AAAAAAAAAE4/IcIG7e5oK9Y/Gyrfalcon.jpg

Gyrfalcon, by Elizabeth Rogers

skuthorp
12-26-2009, 11:11 PM
This is not strictly an owl I think.
http://www.google.com.au/url?source=imgres&ct=tbn&q=http://www.dreamstime.com/tawny-frogmouth-owl-thumb296580.jpg&usg=AFQjCNGLCxazWLQRa0ZOV9yvgixlkmC8Bw

A Tawny Frogmouth
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tawny_Frogmouth

These are quite common, if hard to spot when imitating a treee branch stub during the day. A pair bred regularly in our previous garden.

BrianW
12-26-2009, 11:13 PM
That Golden Eagle claw is amazing.

Here's an immature Bald from the other day...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v136/BrianW/Sitka/juvenile-eagle-1.jpg

Three Cedars
12-27-2009, 01:51 AM
Bald eagles also hunt . Just yesterday I was out for a walk when I heard a flying duck quacking in distress, it dove into the salal ( about 3-4' high extensive shrub around here ) not far from me . A bald eagle wheeled away through the forest and landed in a tree about 50 yards away. I waited a few minutes then went to see if the duck was alive ... I nearly stepped on it before it thrashed around for a while before it cleared the underbrush and flew towards a pond. I then noticed a second eagle perched nearby .... eagles often try and steal from each other.

For many years now I have watched bald eagles hunt ducks in the local flooded fields , the eagle will fly purposefully toward the swimming ducks , the ducks know the routine so will take off and use a curving trajectory to make it harder for the eagle , the eagle might spot a weak duck or get lucky - they miss more often than they connect.

purri
12-27-2009, 05:15 AM
This is not strictly an owl I think.
http://www.google.com.au/url?source=imgres&ct=tbn&q=http://www.dreamstime.com/tawny-frogmouth-owl-thumb296580.jpg&usg=AFQjCNGLCxazWLQRa0ZOV9yvgixlkmC8Bw

A Tawny Frogmouth
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tawny_Frogmouth

These are quite common, if hard to spot when imitating a treee branch stub during the day. A pair bred regularly in our previous garden.

They are otherwise known as Mopokes or Boobooks, members of the nightjar family. Saw one this week on the track to Washaway in the harbour.

The Bigfella
12-27-2009, 10:05 AM
Yeah, we used to have a pet one as kids - Mopoke, that is. It'd fallen 70' or so from the nest. Dad brought it home so the foxes wouldn't get it.

We've got them around here.

John B
12-27-2009, 01:28 PM
Interesting about the mopoke name

Ours is the Morepork( Ruru), because that's what it says.

http://labarker.com/ImageFiles/pictures/morepork.jpg

our only owl as far as I know.

The Bigfella
12-27-2009, 06:31 PM
Yeah, "Mopoke" is what ours says... at night of course.

I posted a photo of our local ones a while back. They nest in the local remnant turpentine forest that the girls saved from the developers a few years back.

bobbys
12-27-2009, 07:11 PM
We have 100 foot plus spruce trees next door.

Few months ago Duck parts were coming out of the tops.

I got hit by some part.

Eagles really scored.

They really pick the bones clean!.

At night i hear the "HOOT HOOT" from the Owls and i "HOOT" back but they are not tricked..

Not a place for kittens or Wiener dawgs to be hanging round.

Tom Hoffman
12-28-2009, 08:42 AM
I shot these pictues out of our up stairs bed room window through a screen. So they are a little blurred. I have looked and looked through bird books and never been able to match him to any known hawk. I am sure he is a common one, but so far no luck.

May be one of you knows.

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k276/slvrgost/446447877kOCCJy_ph.jpg
Hawk in the Window:)

Chip-skiff
12-29-2009, 12:20 AM
A bit hard to make out, but I'd guess it's a sharp-shinned hawk. Permanent resident species in your area. From the photos on Google Image, it seems that the variations in color are great enough to make it hard to be sure.

OconeePirate
12-29-2009, 05:10 PM
When I was a kid my dad found an injured Barred Owl on the road and brought it home. It took up residence in the living room. After it got to moving about normally we left the windows wide open and after a few weeks it flew out and stayed in the trees around the house until winter. It was pretty cool for me as a 6 or 7 year old to have this giant screeching monster living in the house.

The Bigfella
01-01-2010, 06:17 AM
I just came across this photo of me holding a Tawny Frogmouth (Mopoke) a year or two back. It got into the chook house and couldn't find its way out. A simple catch and release....

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff112/igatenby/iansecond/mopok1_edited.jpg

skuthorp
01-01-2010, 07:07 AM
Three Boobooks this evening, one a youngster being fed


http://www.reptilepark.com.au/images/animalProfiles/large_DSC_1077.JPG












http://www.reptilepark.com.au/animals.asp?catID=1&ID=16