MBC Dilute Plumage Bald profile photo.

MBC Dilute Plumage Bald profile photo.
the Lower K. Legend. MBC Photo

Monday, November 23, 2020

Raptor ID for Beginners

In this online presentation, Hawk Mountain Senior Research Biologist David Barber will walk you through the basics of identifying raptors in flight and share tips used by seasoned hawk watchers locally and around the globe.

An Inside Look: Raptor Migration

Join bird experts and trained hawkwatchers from Audubon Connecticut, Bedford Audubon Society, and Braddock Bay Raptor Research (plus a special guest appearance by a feathered friend) to learn how to identify raptors in flight, get information on participating in a "hawkwatch" to help scientists gather data, and discover some of the best viewing spots for fall migration.

Sh*t Birders Say as mentioned this is the video we talked about on our hike 11-21-20 at Lynch Canyon

Here is the video we mentioned while trying to get everyone to see the Burrowing Owl.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Follow up on Lynch Canyon Open Space 11-21-20 Birds of Prey tour.... Wow!

To all those who came out:

What a Great trip, lots of Red-tailed Hawks, Northern Harriers, American Kestrels, a great look at and Adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, a few White-tailed Kites, four Golden Eagles, three burrowing Owls 

And a great group of folks, lots of thanks to Tom, Susana. Shelly, Pam for Co-leading and helping folks see the raptors and helping them learn what hey were seeing, truly a great team effort.

(all photos copyright to original photographers/organizations, use here for non profit and educational purposes only, most photos here shown from WCHW photo pool and not of actual birds from the day, rather just references to help those learning, what we saw and how to tell what they are)

lots of Read-tailed Hawks both Juvenile and Adult birds (photos and info below) 

Adult Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo form (large soaring hawk) overall brown and tan wth brick red tail, tan feathers on back form a "V" known as Scapular V.

Adult Red-tailed Hawk 

Juvenile Red-tailed hawk, dark hood, dark belly band, dark patagials (leading edge of wing near body) Also here you can see where the tail differs for an adult. over all light brown aka tan, with fine brown or dark bars on that tail, easy to tell Juvenile from Adult Red-tailed Hawk because of the tail baring.  

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, great view of tail markings, to compare to an Adult bird, also note the Scapular V seen on both adult and juveniles.

Juvenile Red-tailed hawk, dark patagials, dark hood, strong belly band, finely barred tail, buteo form.

Adult Red-tailed Hawk, dark hood, dark patagials, brick red tail, faint belly band, buteo form.

RTHA (red-tailed hawk) slide 

(below) Right as the tour began we saw some movement of sparrows and western blue birds off to the east of us, we stopped and waited to see what it was that was flushing them, and a few seconds later saw a bright orange Sharp-shined Hawk (Adult) flying over our heads, much like in the photo below showed the orange barring in the chest and belly, the dark nape and the sooty black bars on the grey tail.

Sharp-shinned Hawk - Genius Accipiter (small woodland Hawk)

Sharp-shinned hawk in a glide showing its squared off tail, dark nape on the neck, red eye and head barely extend past the wrists, making it look "wristy" 

Here a Coopers Hawk on the left and the Sharp-shinned Hawk on the right, showing the difference in head location. Coopers forms a "cross' and Sharp-shinned forma capital "T" also notice SSHA has a nice squared off tail and a COHA has a somewhat rounded tail effect. 
(often Coops and Sharps are confused in the ID process) 
Sharp-shinned Hawk = SSHA, Coopers Hawk = COHA 
Here a younger SSHA shows a nice squared off tail, and the full on "wristy" look in a glide. 

Lots of Harriers seen, Female, Male and Juvenile...(photos and info below) 

Northern Harrier slide 

Adult Female, tan and brown, yellow eye, owl like facial disk, wings held at a V, aka swallow Dihedral, long tail, pointy wings.... Adult Female Northern Harrier.  

Adult Male, yellow eye, owl like facial disk, wings held at a slight V, aka swallow Dihedral, long tail, pointy wings, dorsal view presents a white rump patch, bird is grey on top and white-ish underneath, with black wing tips and linings .... Adult Male Northern Harrier.  

Young birds have a cinnamon, aka pumpkin wash to them.. over all a orange-ish underside on body and underwing linings, with very unique with barring "checker board" type patterns.

Young bird, dark eye, cinnamon wash, good dihedral and owl like facial disk 

(Above) Adult Male, Grey, off white, black, wings at a dihedral, yellow eye. 

(Photos below) of White-tailed Kite.... first seen at the parking lot, then again another along the trial and two more seen at the reservoir..  

White-tailed Kite, overall white, with gray wings and back with black shoulders and namesake white tail. True Kite form but also the long tail and pointy wings, somewhat similar to a "falcon" form. 

Hovers over open areas in search of mice, snakes, and other prey.

Perches atop tall vegetation in open landscapes including coastal plains and agricultural areas. Much like we saw the two perched in the tree at the marsh.

Burrowing Owls, [below] very lucky to see three burrowing owls along west of the reservoir, lots of movement and a few flights, at least three different birds in different areas but one general region, very exciting. Spent a lot of time making sure each guest had a chance to view one...  

true to its name in a burrow.

a few of the views we had were like this, but at great distance 

Here we see a Golden Eagle looking into a burrow, we did not see this but this type of activity plays out daily in the Lynch Canyon Open Space.


Always on the look out, from the safety of their burrows.

Golden Eagle, (below) great looks at Golden Eagles all day, 6 sightings though-out the day, with at least 3 confirmed individuals, possibly 4. 

Sub adult above, based on white tail base, and some white still at the base of the primaries (feathers near the tips of the wings) 

Adult Golden Eagle at Lynch Canyon from previous trip

Golden Eagle on our logo 

Adult Golden Eagle (above)

Young Golden Eagle (above)

Juvenile Golden Eagle  (above)

Tail of adult on the left and sub adult on the right

Gold Eagle left to right, Juvenile, Sub-adult, Adult. (Above)

Please check out Facebook page, like and if possible recommend us based on your days experienceon Facebook  www.facebook.com/WestCountyHawkWatch

Check the website for upcoming eventsofficial Web page www.westcountyhawkwatch.com 

And here on this page we post reports from past events, like the event we had at described above: on Google Blogger  http://westcountyhawkwatch.blogspot.com 

thanks for coming out, it was a fun day, Larry Broderick 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Birder - with Dan Gardoqui (incredible stuff right here, worth your 8 minutes)

Incredible video, skills, lessons here:

Lead with Nature
997 subscribers
"Birds are constantly calling us to attention...but are we listening?" -Dan Gardoqui In The Birder, we dive into the practice of nature connection, especially through the study and exploration of bird calls with bird language expert, Dan Gardoqui. Following Dan into the field, we learn what inspires him to get outside of our daily lives and live a "wilder" version of our existence — one that fosters a greater patience and appreciation within us for the world around us. Credits: This content was produced by Randy Gaetano and Derek Kimball of Kingspoke (Portland, Maine) in 2017.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Webinar, 11-19-2020 7pm Pacific Time, PowerPoint West Coast Migration Hawk Talk

Here is a link to the zoom webinar registration for the upcoming presentation:


Webinar, 11-19-2020 7pm Pacific Time, PowerPoint West Coast Migration Hawk Talk 

Every year we do a series of Raptor Identification and Natural History presentations, these are in person events at hosted venues... Sadly this year we are not meeting but.... 

We are offering online trainings and this one focuses on the Jenner Headlands Hawkwatch annual Fall migration 

It will be a fun event and its Free! looking forward to seeing you there! 

Language of the Land: Fall Hawk Migration
Grab your binoculars and cozy up to your computer for an exciting journey into the fall hawk migration! Raptor enthusiast Larry Broderick will take us on an enlightening tour of the diversity of hawk species that make their way down the Sonoma Coast each fall. We will enjoy a stunning visual display of close-up photographs and learn how to spot the birds in the skies. Drawing upon his decades of experience observing and documenting birds of prey, Larry will give us an insider’s view into this fascinating world of flight.

Nov 19, 2020 07:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Here is a link to the zoom webinar registration for the upcoming presentation:


Sunday, November 15, 2020

Birds of Prey Hike Lynch Canyon 11-21-2020 10am to 1:30pm West County Hawkwatch


Bird of Prey Hike at Lynch Canyon

November 21 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Solano Land Trust and Solano County Parks are proud to present this popular series of birds of prey hikes of the winter migration season led by California Naturalist Larry Broderick of West County Hawkwatch . Lynch Canyon is home to golden eagles and hawks. It is also a magnet for migrating and over-wintering birds of prey.  It provides them with over 1,000 undeveloped acres where they can hunt and rest. Some feathered visitors come from as far away as the Arctic Circle. This hike will be between 4-6 miles. Meet in the parking lot.

COST: The guided hike is $10 per person. You can pay online when registering, or bring cash/check, payable to Solano Land Trust.

*NOTE: There is a separate parking fee of $6 at Lynch Canyon, cash or check, payable to Solano County Parks.

Space is limited.

Registration Required.


Please help us contain COVID-19 and protect ourselves and the public by following these recommendations from the CDC.

• Avoid entering the facility if you are feeling sick, or have a cough or fever
• Maintain a minimum six-foot distance from anyone who is not a household member
• Sneeze and cough into a cloth or tissue or, if not available, into one’s elbow
• Not shake hands or engage in any unnecessary physical contact
• Wearing a face covering is strongly recommended
• All picnic areas are closed for public use