Some Eye Candy for You Bird Lovers
I’m a fan of birds and birding, and a listserv I check from time to time is the State College Bird Club’s listserv. Some of those people are way more serious about birding than I am and will drop what they’re doing to drive out to, say, Colyer Lake or the Toftrees Pond if there’s been a sighting of a bufflehead or a Baird’s sandpiper or something.
But once in a while a posting catches my eye, and lately I’ve been enjoying the photos of hawks and other raptors that Donald Bryant has been sharing with the group.
Bryant, who’s a Penn State faculty member—his title is Ernest C. Pollard Professor of Biotechnology—is on sabbatical at Montana State University right now. He studies the microorganisms that live in hot springs in Yellowstone National Park and nearby areas. (You can read an article about his research at the Research/Penn State website.)
In his spare time, he takes his Nikon D300—and his zoom lens, and his teleconverter—out looking for hawks, falcons, and other raptors. They’re apparently not hard to find: “Many places in the west have lots of rodents,” he told me, “and the Bozeman area is no exception because of the large amounts of wheat that is grown in the area and populations of Richardson’s ground squirrels. This makes for lots of raptors in all seasons.”
Don has gotten some outstanding shots of some gorgeous birds of prey. With his permission, I’m sharing a few of them here. The photo at the top of the page is of a juvenile western red-tailed hawk, and the other one is a western meadowlark. (Yes, I know, a meadowlark is not a raptor, but I thought the photo was too good not to share.) Click on either of them to see it bigger.
And below is a slide show with those two and 12 more.
In case you’re curious, they are, in order: female ferruginous hawk, prairie falcon, western red-tailed hawk (LOVE the way its feathers are fluffing up), bald eagle, dark-morph red-tailed hawk, another dark-morph red-tailed hawk, juvenile gyrfalcon, juvenile Harlan’s hawk, another juvenile Harlan’s (or, who knows, maybe the same one), juvenile rough-legged hawk, juvenile prairie falcon, prairie merlin, and the aforementioned red-tailed hawk and meadowlark. You can click on the slide show to stop it and advance the slides one at a time.
Tina Hay, editor
Entry filed under: Eberly College of Science, Faculty research, Penn State faculty. Tags: bald eagle, bird photography, birds of prey, Donald Bryant, gyrfalcon, Harlan's hawk, hot springs, merlin, Nikon D300, prairie falcon, raptors, red-tailed hawk, Richardson's ground squirrels, rough-legged hawk, western meadowlark.