Taken For Granted

(Above: red-shouldered hawk wipes bill on railing after eating red swamp crayfish, on post behind hawk) I recently spent a few days at a coastal Virginia hawk watch witnessing hundreds of hawks passing overhead on their migratory treks south. Osprey, sharp-shinned and Cooper’s hawks, harriers, bald eagles, merlins and kestrels made up the bulk of the cast. And, of course, there were lesser birds as palm warblers, parula, kinglets, flickers, as well various butterflies, like monarch, buckeye, and fiery andRead more

Sky High Raptors

What do the 2 two geese (above) have to do with raptors, or birds of prey? Well, if I hadn’t been paying attention to those two geese I would not have seen a bald eagle soaring over our wetlands last week. As I approached a corner of our 750’ boardwalk near the Black Bear Exhibit, I noticed our two resident Canada geese below me in the water. As I peered over the rail, I realized both geese were staring skyward.Read more

The Grebe(s)

On the morning of September 26th, while walking along the boardwalk in Explore the Wild, I noticed a small brown, duck-like bird floating on the still, dark water. The bird was midway across the water but I knew almost immediately what it was. It was a grebe. A quick look through my binoculars verified that it was a Pied-billed Grebe. The bird was busily diving for fish, had something in its bill, and was thrashing it about in the water.Read more