Celeste Campbell Birds of Oregon and General Science group
took a birding trip to Finley Wildlife Refuge Thursday Feb 14, 2013.
It was the first bright Sunny day we've had for a bird walk in quite a while.
SOME of the highlights were Bluebirds, an immature Golden Eagle, and a Peregrin Falcon.
Huge numbers of Geese and scenic views were enjoyed too.
This collage shows both a Bald Eagle and a Golden Eagle (immature) side-by-side.
Note the much longer neck on the Bald Eagle.
1st ADDENDUM to Trip Report:
Dear BOGS members;
Because a Golden Eagle is rare in the valley (though if/when found, historical data suggests it would be most likely in Jan and Feb),
I posted the link to our photo album to OBOL (Oregon Birders OnLine) to make folks aware of the Eagle.
Several proficient birders (Jed Petersen, Lisa Millbank, and Hendrik Herlyn) wrote back over the next few days, to say that our white-under-
winged bird was very likely a Dark-Morph Rough-Legged Hawk rather than an immature Golden Eagle. Doris contacted an expert ( Richard Hoyer)
she knows, (and who used to live here)
and he agreed with that assessment.
Interestingly two of the experts thought that the profile comparison
of the Bald Eagle and what we thought was an imm. Golden Eagle
did indeed depict a Golden Eagle, so some uncertainty does remain about this.
I've gone through the camera data and found that the Eagle-like profile was taken
right between two pictures of what the experts are saying is a Rough-Legged Hawk, Dark Morph.
Were there two birds up there (besides the Peregrin Falcon) while I thought there was only one?
Lisa Millbank keeps records for the Corvallis Audubon Society.
She wrote to me to say she is very interested in knowing whether I might have
taken pictures of two different birds (besides the Peregrin Falcon) during those three minutes.
For anyone that is interested, I've added a collage to our album,
showing 12 pictures in the sequence they were taken. The Peregrin Falcon was part of that sequence.
I've also edited some of the photo captions and posted a correction (and apology) to the OBOL listserve.
Image IMG_4230 shows what appears to be quite a white-looking wash on the side of the bird's head.
I should have raised a question about that to Steve after I got home and saw that.
If anyone who was there remembers seeing more than just the Peregrine
and the bird with loads of white on it's underwing, soaring in the sky above us at that time
I would like to hear from you, because in my preoccupation
with finding and focusing at 35X zoom, on what I thought was the Golden Eagle against a very bright sky,
I might have missed hearing anyone say anything about another bird soaring up above us,
having some white patches on the underside of it's wings.
(The imm Golden Eagle has smaller white patches near the "wrist"
rather than white extending along most of the length of the wing
- at least in some field guides).
Let me know, please, if you saw TWO birds up there with differing amounts of white under the wings!
2nd ADDENDUM to Trip Report:
At the next BOGS general meeting (two weeks later, on Feb 28),
Janet Naylor reported back that there WERE two large birds in the sky
besides the Peregrin Falcon. Steve reported back to say that when the large bird first took off from the tree
it had the deep labored wingbeats of an Eagle.
Janet added that the Peregrin Falcon dive-bombed one of the two large birds,
which I had not seen. Based on all this I believe we DID have am immature Golden Eagle in the sky
at the same time as the Dark Morph Rough-Legged Hawk
and that only ONE of my pictures captured that Eagle.
That picture is the one about which three experts commented that it was an Eagle.
I have little doubt that while I was completely intent
on focusing on and photographing a large dark bird almost straight above us in a bright sky,
that I probably switched from one bird to another without even realizing there were two different birds up there.
My best guess is that there was an immature Golden Eagle as well as a Dark Morph Rough-Legged Hawk.