now these photos are OLD, (like 2008 old)
but i adopted a juvenile female merlin and got to release her (and yes, for everyone's safety, that is the proper way to hold a wild hawk lol. you dont want to get bit by a falcon, as their beak has a special notch in them and theyre nasty biters and are notorious among banders for being biters where most other hawks grab)
and others... the harris's and great horned owl were captive. harry the harris was a falconry bird, fuzzy wink (RIP old age) was an imprinted great horned owl
I think there's red tails, American kestrels, sharp shinned hawk? Oh and a coopers hawk? I'm not sure haha! They're gorgeous photos and yeah you're definitely holding it the right way. When we hold the raptors who we haven't handled yet we hold them upright by the legs to make sure we don't get a nasty foot or beak. Falcons hurt man! I've been footed by them and it isn't too bad but I got a bite off my Archie and he bit down hard!
Those are fantastic raptor photos Casey! The feathering patterns and eyes are so amazing to look at. We once had a Sharp Shinned Hawk hit our kitchen window when he was chasing a small bird. He was killed instantly. He looked to be a very young Hawk. I felt bad he had to lose his life so young but that is how it is sometimes.
Thanks for sharing those photos. You are so fortunate to experience the Hawks close up. Wish I could have been there too.
yeah the second photo is a juvenile female coopers, the sharpies are all males in the other photos. the red tail we dont know, but suspect female (theres too much overlap in size to tell gender by size like most of the others)
ive adopted several sharpies too. i gotta look for the photo i have of those and the northern harrier (i didnt adopt that one)
thats a special banders hold, you cant handle them long. just band, place in the adopters hand on its belly and release. theyre stressed easy and can die of heart attacks very easily. they dont do well for long handling. neither do wild northern harriers. theyre very nervous birds. the banders here keep watch for stressing in the bird and will release them if they get stressed
(thats the banders hand the hummer is in, she was too fast to get the photo of her in my hand. zoom and she was gone!)
yeah juveniles are tricky, i have issues, and ive been a bird watcher for 8 years. i have volunteered several times for banding assistance and also for counting hawks with the hawk watchers during migration.