By Sophia Landis From millennia-old burial mounds of Native Americans to videogame protagonists like Captain Falcon, one thing is for sure: humans hold falcons in high regard. So what makes falcons so special? And how do you know if the bird you’re looking at is a falcon? This brief article will give you a few pointers on the falcon genus and help you specifically identify a few of the more widely spread species in North America. All photos in this
By Sophia Landis “Is this a Cooper’s Hawk or a Sharp-shinned Hawk?” This is one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to raptor ID – and for good reason! Cooper’s Hawks, Sharp-shinned Hawks, and the rarer Northern Goshawk make up North America’s share of the accipiter genus. Before we get into the nitty gritty of how to ID these species separately, let’s take a look at what they all have in common. Accipiter Build and Behavior Unlike
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a buteo! But what is a buteo? Buteos are a scientific grouping of hawks characterized by broad wings, short tails, and an overall robust build, which combine to form a bird perfectly suited for soaring. Buteos will sometimes soar for great lengths of time together in large groups called kettles, particularly during periods of migration. Have you seen a buteo before? If you’ve seen a Red-tailed Hawk, then the answer is yes! The
What is that bird? It is a Trumpeter Swan! Our eagle-eyed camera operators found it yesterday on our Mississippi Flyway cam and we went to ornithologist Tom Prestby for an expert opinion. So how we tell a Trumpeter Swan from the far more common Tundra Swan? Behavior. Our first clue that we were seeing something a little different? There were only two swans. Tundra swans tend to travel in flocks – like snow, a blizzard of white from the north!
What are those birds? The first one is a black-bellied whistling duck, which was spotted on our Flyway Cam on Monday, August 10th! They are cavity nesters who usually form gregarious flocks of up to 1000 birds, although this one was alone. It was also far, far out of its usual range. E-Bird shows just a handful of sightings in Wisconsin! The Flyway cam is getting busy now and we are seeing a lot of great species. You can watch