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raptor

Bald Eagles Hunt in Tandem

A Bald Eagle dives suddenly toward the water, huge wings canted, talons outstretched. A merganser floating on the bay is its intended prey, but the duck dives before the eagle can strike. But a second eagle swoops down. After five minutes of repeated passes, one of the eagles plucks the merganser... read more »

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Barn Owls Let You Know

The structure and delicate softness of its feathers allow a Barn Owl to approach its prey almost without sound. The Barn Owl's ability to locate prey by sound, even when concealed by snow or leaves, is the most precise of any animal yet tested. This young Barn Owlet is about five weeks old and... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

The Bald Eagle, A National Symbol

Immature Bald Eagles look so different from mature Bald Eagles that John James Audubon thought they were a different species entirely! Sitting about three feet tall, these majestic birds have wingspans of more than six feet. Stretch your arms as far as you can, and imagine a bird whose reach is... read more »

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Barn Owl, Silent Hunter

The structure and delicate softness of a Barn Owl's feathers allow it to approach its prey almost silently. Its skillful hunting is enhanced by exceptional sight and acute hearing. The owl's ability to locate prey by sound is the most precise of any animal yet tested. Barn Owls are found... read more »

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Barred Owl Revives

The emphatic hoots of Barred Owls resonate in the still of a winter's night. These owls initiate their vocal courtship in winter. Their signature hooting sequence has been memorably described as "who-cooks-for-you?! who-cooks-for-you-all?!" Watch for them at dawn or dusk, as they fly low to the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  rehabilitation, vocalization

Paul Bannick - Owls and Woodpeckers

Photographer and naturalist Paul Bannick, whose photos appear frequently on this website, has spent a lot of time observing woodpeckers and owls, including this Great Horned Owl. Paul notes: "Woodpeckers are called 'keystone' species...a species which alters its habitat to the benefit of other... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching, photography

Eagles Do a Fall Walkabout

It's autumn. Where have all the eagles gone? Only a few weeks after young Bald Eagles fledge from their nests, the parents leave the area as well. Bald Eagles do a kind of "fall walkabout," leaving their nesting territories for better foraging areas. In winter, eagles gather by the hundreds along... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Eagles and Murres

While the Bald Eagle may be the biggest story of conservation success in the 20th century, it's made life tough for some colonial seabirds. All the eagles have to do is soar by the cliff, and it causes panic, scaring birds off their nests. Then gulls and crows swoop in and get the eggs. The... read more »

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Baby Bald Eagles

A recently fledged Bald Eagle, a juvenile just learning to fly, lands unceremoniously on the ground. The parent Bald Eagles may react by calling from a tree, or they may have to descend to the ground themselves, to tend to and encourage the young bird to take flight again. Young Bald Eagles do... read more »

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Red-tailed Hawks Take the Bus

Travel into Seattle from Sea-Tac airport, and you might share the shuttle with a Red-tailed Hawk! To protect planes, passengers and birds, airport biologists Steve Osmek and Bud Anderson are capturing and relocating raptors. They band and wing-tag the hawks, then release them in the Skagit Valley... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

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