Category Archives: Lake Superior

Young Coop

Friends, This hatch year Cooper’s Hawk is peeking around the corner to see where that clicking is coming from (my camera).  I love the various poses of these beautiful birds, especially the youngsters.  On a sad note, only twenty percent of these first year birds will live to finish the migration north next spring.  The feather ruff around his head and his size mark him as a Cooper and his yellow eye says hatch year bird.  til Tomorrow MJ

My Cooper

Weekly Photo Challenge:Big

Friends, Lake Superior, the biggest of the Great Lakes, and also the deepest and coldest.  This is an image of the harbor at Duluth Minnesota with a ore ship coming out of the docks and headed north.  These ships can be 1000 feet in length.  The fall foliage in Duluth is legendary and this is a view from Hawk Ridge where i have been photographing the fall migration of hawks (see previous blogs) so til Tomorrow MJ

Redtails in the Air

The Rufous Redtail

Friends, this beautiful copper-colored redtail (right below) is a rufous-phase Redtail Hawk and it is estimated that the rufous phase makes up about 5% of the total population of Redtail Hawks.  So this is a rather special hawk and his light eyes mean he is a juvenile hawk as the eyes get darker as redtails mature.  You can see the difference in the chest color by comparing the rufous (right) to the more traditional redtail (left) in the images below.

Couple a Coopers

Friends, These two Cooper Hawks are examples of a difference in attitude and age.  The bird in the top image is younger and calmer than the older and more aggressive bird shown in the bottom image.  The difference in the amount of gray feathers shows the relative age with the bird in the bottom image being the older.  The raised hackles on the back of the head show more attitude in the older bird.  I adopted the bird in the top image and released it back into the wild.  The bird in the bottom image bit the educator and was not adopted.  In all fairness, there were more birds than people on Hawk ridge yesterday.  The sunshine and cooler weather is bringing in the larger hawks now. Lots of Redtail Hawks and an special redtail tomorrow. til Tomorrow MJ


The Goshawk Dance

Friends, this is a teenage goshawk who just got his drivers license a few months ago, he hasn’t quite mastered the cornering thing yet.  This is a multiple exposure taken on a gray sky day  with very little color.  While we were on Hawk Ridge, it snowed, foreshadowing things to come. This is a hatch year goshawk talking back, but officer, I was only going 30mph. til Tomorrow MJ

The Big Guy-Osprey

Friends, while sitting on Hawk Ridge watching the leaves turn into fall colors, and waiting for the occasional hawk, this big bird gave us a fly-over.  We told him there aren’t any fish on the ridge but he was curious and gave us the once over.  This is an adult osprey with a bright yellow eye who was flying northward when all the traffic is southerly.  Guess he didn’t get the memo.  When ospreys glide their wings are bent slightly at the wrist, as shown in the image below. til Tomorrow MJ

Peregrine Released

Friends, this tundra peregrine was migrating through Duluth Minnesota, floating on the thermals above  Hawk Ridge when she saw what appeared like a wounded bird.  She swooped down and got caught in a net.  People rushed out to free her from the net and put a band on her leg, measured her and sent her to an educator/naturalist who stood in front of other people and told them about the peregrine falcon natural history.  Someone from the crowd then adopted this bird and was allowed to set her free to continue on her migratory journey.  This is what happens on Hawk Ridge in the fall.  til Tomorrow MJ

Migrating Peregrine

Friends, this beautiful bird is another tundra peregrine falcon, i love the blue accessories.  He has flown in from the tundra of the northern regions and will migrate to the tip of south america.  A very long journey even for those of us with modern gps.  He is going on his instincts and inborn knowledge, for this is his first trip.  There are no parents to guide him, just his internal compass. On their first journey, they avoid flying over Lake Superior because the coldness of the lake doesn’t produce the thermals that are critical for gliding.  Over Hawk Ridge the thermals lift the birds and below is the view that they enjoy while migrating south along the ridge.  we will release this peregrine in tomorrow’s post til Tomorrow MJ

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