[Russell Towle's journal]
|Waterfall with raptor |
(white in the upper left, enlarged below)
Canyon Creek, 11/27/01
From: Russell Towle
Subject: Canyon Creek
Today a friend from Austria, Ed Stadum, joined me for a hike down to the North Fork American on the Canyon Creek Trail. It was a lovely day, brisk and cool and clear, but once we crossed the creek and got amongst the sunny cliffs, it was positively warm. The river was sparkling crystal and has more flow than a few weeks ago.
We saw a large raptor cruising the Canyon Creek gorge below the Terraces, and on our way back up from the river, surprised it in a thicket of live oak beside the trail. It may have been a red-tail, certainly some species of buteo-like hawk. It flew across the canyon to a perch above a waterfall. I wished for a longer lens.
Buteos and Buteo-like Hawks
“Large, thickset hawks, with broad wings and wide, round tail. Many buteos habitually soar high in wide circles. Much variation; sexes similar, females slightly larger. Young birds usually streaked below. Dark morphs often occur. Food: Small mammals, sometimes small birds, reptiles, grasshoppers.”
—Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Western North America, by Roger Tory Peterson
More about Buteos and a list of North American varieties may be found here: