Monday, December 31, 2012

Photo of the Year 2012

I managed to get some decent shots during 2012 but nothing really popped out. I probably would have chosen an image of a bighorn sheep grazing in the South Dakota Badlands after a dusting of October snow, but the problem is I didn't actually take that photo. In the car, I passed my camera to my friend Sue because she had a better view, so she took the photo. Anyway, of the photos I actually took, I chose this from Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge in December. According to my Sibley bird book, this is a rare sight. The description seems to match a broad-winged hawk, dark morph. According to Sibley, the dark coloring is uncommon and is only found on the western edge of the species' range, which according to their map would include northwest Missouri.

The prize, as usual, is an all-expense paid trip to Keokuk, Iowa to hunt for wintering eagles in January/February.

Click on the image for a larger view.

Dark Morph 2012

Here are my POY selections for 2002-2011.

Young red-tailed hawk Junior I (2002 edition) right outside my office window.
Junior I 2002
Gentoo penguins greet each other, Jougla Point, Dec. 4, 2003.
Gentoo Penguins 2003
Puffins on Machias Seal Island, Gulf of Maine, 2004.
Little Brothers 2004
Bald Eagle along the Mississippi River, 2005.
Bald Eagle 2005
Blue Jay, 2006.
Blue Jay 2006
Eagle with fish, 2007.
Eagle with fish 2007
Great Horned Owls, 2008.
Great Horned Owls 2008
Custer State Park Bighorn, 2009.
Custer SP Bighorn 2009
Keokuk eagle, 2010.
Keokuk Eagle 2010
Sertoma Butterfly
Sertoma Butterfly 2011

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Missouri Eagles

The calendar said it was time to head down to Squaw Creek NWR in northwest Missouri to see eagles and geese. This year the geese decided to take off at the end of November, but the eagles were still there, perhaps about 50 of them scattered around. I will have to get out my bird ID books as I go through the photos to see what kind of hawks I saw, but these two (of course) are bald eagles. Click on the images for larger versions.

Update: I posted three images of hawks and hunted through my Sibley book to try to identify them. Even though they weren't taken at the same time, I believe two of them are rough-legged hawks. The third appears to be a broad-winged hawk, dark morph, which Sibley says is an uncommon coloring limited to the western portion of the species' range. In fact the western portion of the range includes northwest Missouri, so I think that's what it it. Click here to see the hawks.