A departing adult Redtail near Holister, CA.
Focusing on this guy made me miss the high point of an epic Redtail vs. Golden Eagle encounter… but… hey, it’s a Western Bluebird. He was doing an imitation of MC Hammer’s typewriter dance down the wire… worth it.
A lady Kestrel flares off the line.
Occasionally you’ll see a Redtail on a wire but they tend to prefer a sturdier perch where they can hone their skills at impersonating insulators.
This guy is a regular in Panoche Valley but seeing him is hit or miss. One of the prettiest birds in California.
This is the area in the valley that I call “Merlin Alley” but it was devoid of little dark falcons on this day. It made up for it with the dark morph buteo.
This is where I found him. I was glad he stayed put after I stopped since almost every other bird had been skittish that day.
A glimpse of the rare Ferruginous Bear.
Eventually he spotted something in the distance and made his move.
A glorious sight that I hope we can continue to see for years to come, a Ferruginous Hawk over Panoche Valley.
I wish Prairie Falcons weren’t so skittish, but maybe the rarity of close encounters is what makes them so special. So to see 4 of them on my recent trip out to Panoche Valley was unexpected.
Such amazing birds. Ability to write decent caption… compromised…
A storm of blackbirds results from a Prairie swooping in and landing on the power pole below.
Check out those dark axillaries… a nice field mark for a Prairie Falcon that you can easily see from a distance.
Definitive proof that falcons can keep a close eye on you even when they are flying away.
A Loggerhead Shrike on the hunt in Panoche Valley.
A lovely Western Meadowlark in Panoche Valley. They have an incredible song and seem capable of throwing their voice. One of my favorite birds.
A beautiful Lark Sparrow in Panoche Valley.