Cherish is my favorite word, and I cherish the ability of turning the routine into a beautiful moment.
Nature creates in me, a spiritual and meditative time to bring peace, harmony and balance, into an otherwise ordinary day~
Mary Howell Cromer

Friday, February 20, 2015

All Raptors and One Off Life List~

As much as I love wildlife, and especially birds, I have a rather short list when it comes to those that I would consider "life birds".  We had received BIRDKY ALERTS that one and possibly two Merlins were in the area of a park along the Ohio River, in Eastern Jefferson County.   I had made a couple of attempts in the past couple of weeks and then my good fortune arrived on a very sunny, early morning.  It was awesome to finally get to see one of these beauties.  For the most part, it was catching the early morning sun and preening.  It flew once, but not very far, just a better position with which to watch me.  Do any of you have any birds that you are hoping to see one day?
 Of course at the top of my list is a Great Gray Owl in the wild.
Last Tuesday I was scheduled to leave for Cincinnati and then catch an Amtrak train to Florida.  However nature changed everything.  Our state of Kentucky was termed as of yesterday 2/16/15 a "state of emergency", due to hazardous roads following a snow storm that hit our area.  We live in a valley and get stuck when we have Winter snow storms.  It was one huge mess to get everything changed about, but rather to be safe than sorry.  I will now be leaving this coming Tuesday.  I will not be able to post this to Wild Bird Wednesday until late and so I hope that many will still be able to view this share, as you are able.  

Remember to double click on the first image, to view a larger slide show presentation after you have read the narratives~

I will be linking up with Judith for:


Stewart for:

This is simply a bad image turned into something more artistic.  While so many like this are deleted, I felt this one had meaning, at least to me.  A pair of Red-tailed Hawks~

The American Kestrel was not happy that I had stopped to catch a glimpse of her beauty~

The "Tingsgrove and Beyond" female Red-Shouldered Hawk caught a Gray Squirrel on my land the other day, and then flew in the direction of last seasons nest tree.  
They are just now choosing a nest tree~

Harris Hawks...
I had seen a documentary on them last year.  They are a Raptor species that collectively hunt with each other to take down prey and share in the meal.  My friend Beau, who is a Master Falconer had a Red-tailed Hawk the last time I shared a post about him.  Recently he became the proud custodian of this gorgeous bird.  Her name is Tara and she makes the most wonderful, cooing/purring sounds.  I was quite taken by her beauty and her seemingly easy manner.  I believe Beau has a new best friend~

While walking at Anchorage Trail, I came upon this first year Red-Shouldered Hawk.  The park has many visitors, both human kind and canine, and these birds are just pretty used to people and you can manage some fairly descent shots there~

Below is one of the parents of the young one above.  I am thinking that due to the size alone, this is the female~

Last, but not least.  I had...yes...another Dr appointment in the city last week.  I arrived early and stopped at the little park across the lane.  An adult Red-Shouldered Hawk was actually hunting for earthworms and grubs.  It seemed oblivious to all of the people walking by it on this cold, brisk, yet sunny afternoon~


  1. congratulations on spotting the merlin! awesome!

  2. Gorgeous shots of all the BOP! Harris's Hawks I know well as they are common for us here. They work in family groups and remind me of a football team working together for their dinner. Have a good weekend!

  3. Wow, you have quite a few great shots here. Your red shouldered hawk that caught the squirrel makes me think of the Cooper's Hawks that are hunting (and catching!!) around our new house. They scare me a bit though. I would not want to come between a hawk and its prey in my backyard because I'd like to keep my eyeballs and all. Now I know that is not likely but the thought crossed my mind. I don't have any life birds. I just keep my eyes open and am always ready to learn. If I were to see a merlin, I'd have no idea it was a life bird but I'd be pretty happy to see it anyway!

  4. Beautiful images of all the birds of prey. What interesting colours in Tara, the talented Harris Hawk. Your mosaic of the Red-Shouldered Hawks, at the end, are my favourites, as I sense a serenity and satisfaction in their little, serious faces, and their confident stance.

    Mary, America's snowstorms have made the headlines here, (and considering Greece's political chaos presently, that's quite an accomplishment!). Stay warm, and safe travels this Tuesday, as you head south to Florida; enjoy your trip!


  5. First of all, fingers crossed and best thoughts coming your way for your Tuesday getaway. Beautiful raptors. The way you get those full face looking right at you shots is remarkable. As is the way you put them together. Nobody does it better!

  6. Hello Mary, congrats on the Merlin sighting.. I always enjoy your collection of raptors.. The Harris Hawk is cool. Awesome photos and post.. Enjoy your trip, have a great week!

  7. Awesome photos this week too Mary. I hope you finally make it to Florida on Tuesday, it's to be in the 80s all week in the Ft. Myers area.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday.

  8. Excellent Raptor images, and congratulations on the Merlin, fantastic Mary.

  9. awesome merlin photos, hope you get to complete your journey safely in a few days

  10. Mary, thank you for these very interesting and beautiful photos!
    Have a lovely trip!

  11. Beautiful photos Mary, and how lucky to spot the Merlin. I have always wanted to see a Sea Eagle over here but they are only up in Scotland really - perhaps one day! Hope the snow gives you a bit of a break and you have a safe trip.

  12. Mary I was sorry to hear about your delay....but you will soon be on your way.....and you have such an incredible array of raptors here....I am in awe!

  13. Wow, these hawks are amazing Mary!! They really are beautiful birds. I know we have hawks in our neighborhood because my husband and I see them soaring overhead frequently. However, I could count on one hand the number of times I've ever been able to see one at fairly close range. Sometimes we pass them on the highway sitting on a tree branch looking for prey. It's always a neat surprise to look up and see one, but since we're in the car, it's a quick glimpse for sure.

    Your pictures and mosaics are great -- thanks for sharing!

    Denise at Forest Manor

  14. Fabulous images.......thanks for sharing this!

  15. Congratulations on seeing the Merlin and great images of it too.

  16. A Merlin, wow! Such great sightings and photos!

  17. Wonderful images of these raptors! Congrats on seeing the merlin!

  18. Mary Congrats on the Merlin and great series of raptor shots.

  19. Great photos of all those raptors. They are all such majestic birds.

  20. so many gorgeous birds and bird images I can only wonder how that is possible. In a way, I envy you.

  21. Hello Mary. So well done with the Merlin. It is truly my favourite raptor and possibly favourite bird - so small yet so fearless and determined.To watch one hunt is such a special privilege.

    I'm not sure where you are right now KY or FL but wherever it is, enjoy it to the full.

  22. Hope you enjoy your trip. We have a Great Gray Owl near here. You seem to get every variety of hawk there. I can study them to learn to id them from your photos on your blog.... that is a wonderful photo of the Merlin on the top.

  23. these really are beautiful images of the red shouldered hawk Mary. Know wonder you have dedicated your blog to them. Such beautiful birds.
    I hope that your plane flight sets off ok and that you spend some wonderful time with your daughter and her husbie. Travel safe and have a lovely weekend.

  24. Great birds of prey - I still seem to miss most of mine with the camera!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  25. Great Merlin, and oh those red-shouldered hawk shots, plus the other raptors--all so wonderful! Have a great visit in Florida. Hope you are able to be relatively pain free for the visit, and can return home ready for medical assist.


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