Birds of prey

So the last few days I have been taking Pictures Of birds, I have taken Pictures and video of swans, owl (saw-whet) and a peregrine falcon, all near a small lake near town. I was very surprised too see all these birds all the same day. I have been back 3 times and havent seen the owl since the first day but the swan and the falcon seemed to be sticking around for awhile more…

Interesting. Which lake?

Hi Dave

its 3 k out past Ridly Island on your way to the log sort, u have to walk in past the gate.

the saw-whet owl is only 5 inchs tall full grown, thought it was a bird but nope it was an owl.
lots of wolf tracks but havent seen one yet, I’m sure one of these nights i will…

Trogdor the Birdinator!

Do you know what kind of Swan Dave?? Kewl pictures, owls are always impressive in person (to me anyways) I know where the trail is to the beach past the gates how far is the lake past that?

2 k past the beach…will post swan pics tonight

falcon pic


Astro, from the picture, I don’t think that’s a falcon. White rump patch is usually a dead giveaway for northern harrier.

The Peregrine falcon has pointed wings and characteristic “aviator helmet” markings on his head.

Because it’s 0417PDT and I’m trapped at work and have nothing else to do I looked up what type of swan it might possibly be

Possibly the trumpeter or the tundra swan? Picture makes it hard to tell, but black beak…

I would say tundra swan because of the description of the shorter neck. I have seen what I think are trumpeter swans in the sloughs by the Exchamshiks river and they are big with long neck. They are usually around there in February and March.

Pics quality isn’t the best. You need MiG to go take a picture with his fine camera with zoom. The owl is pretty cool though.
Pun: Is it still called a saw-whet owl if you see it on a dry day?

re: the falcon, I have seen hawks before, this was much bigger and you cant tell from the pic as it was a frame from the video I shot it does have a band of white on its tail feathers, there are lots of different types of falcon’s in the north west… will post the video tonight.

I was taking a casual drive out the highway the other day and came across a grey and white, what looked to be a hawk, sitting in a tree on the side of the road.

It will be interesting to see. But your statement about the great number of different falcons in the northwest is somewhat erroneous. The following link shows only 5 true falcons and I not sure that they all roam in the PR area.

I still think it looks more like a northern harrier. Read the description on the link. There aren’t too many birds with a white rump as a distinguishable feature ( that’s how one can easily recognize the northern flicker, a species of woodpecker.)

And your comment about the size is also confusing. Peregrine falcon are the size of a crow ( not a raven) while the harrier is about 18-20 inches in length which makes slightly smaller than a raven.

More websites to check:

-Northern Goshawk

This is the type of bird I saw the other day on the highway, right near taylor lake.

One thing to do would be to contact a birdwatching soceity in the NW who can probably make an ident better than we can, if you really want to go that far.

Owls are cool-I remember when I lived on VI walking the dog around the park trails and looking upwards to see an Owl!! Grey, and sitting there (no “horns” in the feathers, smooth head, larger but not huge with the big round disc feathers surrounding eyes) and it was quite startling-I had visions of it swooping down with it’s talons and getting me. Probably the worst it would have done was pooped on me though. its 20 megs and yes it does look like a northern harrier.

I used to live on campus at UVic and there were these rabbits that lived outside and were roaming around everywhere. Once it a while, when it got dark, you could hear an owl swoop down and grab one, then the screaming sound of the rabbit as it was being taken away.

Once in a while, when we were lucky, we could even see the owls. There were’t that many, but they were huge.

I also remember one day I was back in PR and I saw five bald eagles circling around the trees in the empty lot on the corner of 3rd Avenue and McBride Street. It was really quite something to see.

When I was a wee lad, I remember getting up for school one morning watching an eagle swoop down into my neighbour’s front yard and making a clean pickup of a mouse/rat. It was pretty awe inspiring, how quickly the eagle moved and how accurate it was.