Ornithologi

A studio for bird study

Tag: trapping

Falcon Row

by Bryce W. Robinson

Image copyright Caitlin M. Davis

Image copyright Caitlin M. Davis

Caitlin Davis is in eastern Nevada again this fall, trapping migrating raptors at the Goshutes Raptor Migration Site for HawkWatch International. She’s been sending me more of her incredible raptor portraits. I felt compelled to share a composite she put together of this years birds.

The migration is in full swing and they have been catching great birds. Already the Goshutes crew has caught multiple individuals of four of North America’s falcon species: the American Kestrel, the Prairie Falcon, the Peregrine Falcon, and a few early Merlin. Perhaps this year they will get a fifth, the large emblematic falcon of the far north, the Gyrfalcon. I’d love to see that bird in Caitlin Davis portrait style.

Advertisements

The Gray Ghost

by Bryce W. Robinson

Northern Harrier- Circus cyaneus. 11×18″ Prismacolor on Bristol.

Deneb Sandack has been involved with the Goshutes Raptor Migration sight in some way or another since its inception in the early 80’s. For many years she has acted as the lead bander at the sight, going above and beyond to ensure that the sight runs smoothly and achieves its goals each season.

Her passion for trapping birds is unmatched. I admire her greatly for this passion. Over the years she has trapped and processed thousands upon thousands of birds. Each year she returns to the mountain with hopes of trapping what is her personal white whale, a bird that has evaded her tremendous luring and trapping skills for years. This bird is the Gray Ghost, the adult male Northern Harrier.

The Gray Ghost, a name known among raptor enthusiasts and birders alike. Termed such because of its ghostly gray plumage, and intense yellow eyes. It hunts just above the ground, floating along in search of prey, reminiscent of a specter in search of a soul. A truly remarkable and mystifying creature, very deserving of its super natural epithet.

Because the male Harrier is the single regular migrant that has avoided capture by Deneb all of these years, I thought it prudent to honor her and her goal by illustrating the bird. This bird is for her, as my tribute to her hard work and dedication, and hope that next season at the Goshutes Raptor Migration Sight she finally pulls the Gray Ghost from the sky.