Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Belly Bands

Many of our visitors ask us how we can tell our winged ambassador red-tailed hawks apart.  One way is the different belly band markings on each bird.  Here are two examples; the first one is Bailey, and the second is one of our newer red-tailed hawks who does not have a name yet.

Bailey's belly band
New (unnamed) red-tail's belly band
New red-tailed hawk (unnamed)

Red-tailed hawks are common raptor species for many of us in our neighborhoods.  The Birds of North America Online (Cornell) tells us, "the species varies greatly across its range, with up to 16 subspecies recognized by various authorities. Races are usually distinguished by ventral coloration, tail markings, and/or size, but there is no clear geographic trend in any of these characters.

A dark belly band, present in most Red-tails, is not sufficient for species identification.  Plumage color and pattern are highly variable in some populations, and individuals may be broadly classified as light or dark morphs."

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Answer to What is This?

Are you ready for the answer? It is an alula feather from Darner, the American kestrel. Here is a photo of that feather, and an alula from Maxime the bald eagle. Both feathers are used in the same ways by each bird, but what a difference in size! Thank you to all who checked in.

This article is an example of how alula feathers are used in flight.…/2015/…/150605103008.htm

What is This?

What is this? We will take any suggestions - what species is it from, what type of feather is it, and any other observations. (And yes, it is real. And yes, it is from one of TRC's education birds.) We'll post the answer later today.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Update on "Freedom" Bald Eagle, August 8

"Freedom" in his flight pen.

 "Freedom", the bald eagle admitted to TRC's clinic after hanging upside down by a leg for at least two days over the 4th of July weekend, had a check-up recently. 

He is perching more consistently now and the soft tissue injury to his leg is healing nicely. He has a great appetite and after eating dinner, often takes a dip in his bath pan with great enthusiasm!  We remain cautiously optimistic on “Freedom’s” progress.
This is the material removed from around "Freedom's" leg.

Your gifts to support the expertise that TRC will provide him, and other young eaglets who also need second chances at life, will make a huge impact.