[Tweeters] FOY: Olympia

Dennis Paulson dennispaulson at comcast.net
Mon Apr 16 07:59:07 PDT 2012


We saw your juvenile Red-tailed Hawk on Saturday and watched it catch and eat an American Robin in late morning, after having missed something on another pounce a bit earlier. It dropped on it from one of the tall snags to the north of the walkway. Red-tails will eat anything they can catch, but it's the first time I have actually seen one catch a bird. The hawk was indeed very tame and allowed great photo opportunities for several photographers, including us.

Actually, I would call the one we saw a rather dark bird. It's one of the more heavily marked juveniles that I've seen, with very little white on the breast. The scapulars and coverts show classical wear patterns that are so evident in juvenile hawks at this time of year.


On Apr 15, 2012, at 9:01 PM, ray holden wrote:

> At 7 PM I heard at least two Caspian Terns but didn't see them. At 7:10 one lonely Barn Swallow had gone to roost at the building were they nest each year at the Port of Olympia. By the amount of poop below the roost site the bird has been there several days. There was indication of another bird on the west side of the building with less poop and it wasn't at roost. There have been plenty of bugs flying the past week so they should be well fed and hopefully we won't have another disaster season like last year. The downtown swallows only got off one brood and they didn't appear to be as healthy and active as the ones in 2010.


> In addition to the the birds listed in the previous Nisqually post. I saw the two Caspian Terns diving south of the new boardwalk around the duck blind area. There was a fine Bald Eagle tail chasing two Green Wing Teals just a few feet above the water down the creek. When they went out of site the ducks were holding their own. I doubt that an Eagle can run down a duck from behind like that. Of course every duck along the creek scattered in their wake. There was a Double Crested Cormorant with an unusually white bib if you will.


> Finally be sure to look for the resident juvenile Red Tailed Hawk that often perches in the area around the picnic tables and the gate where you turn right to go out onto the new dike. I see it so often I've begun calling it Ruffous. It's very tame, perches very low and will lets people approach very closely. Ruffous is a light colored hawk and his tail isn't red yet. On my way back today I had plopped down at a picnic table without looking around. A woman stopped by with a long lens camera and asked if I'd seen the guy behind me. I looked around and there he was just a few feet away. We talked for 15 minutes and when I left he was still sitting there like he owned the place which in a way he does. I watched him take some small critter over by where the owls are on the river side of the trail a couple of weeks ago and I've seen him at the beginning of the trail by the visitors center. Ruffous has been around for about a year. I suspect he hatched nearby and has always been around people which is why he's so tame. If you see or hear a young Red Tail in that general area say hello for me.


> Ray Holden

> Olympia, WA


> Life is for the birds.

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Dennis Paulson
1724 NE 98 St.
Seattle, WA 98115
dennispaulson at comcast.net

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