A week of birds in Sequim – Northern harrier

Here is a female northern harrier (Circus cyaneus) looking for dinner. Like other raptors, their beaks are hooked and they have strong legs and sharp talons. Members of this bird family, Accipitridae, have eyesight that is four to eight times better than that of humans. Notice how the long, narrow outer primary feathers on the wing to the right separate into “fingers.” These “fingers” allow birds to fly at lower speeds without stalling.

By coincidence my posts for the rest of this week are all about birds. Check in for more shots of feathered friends.

Eagle watch

What’s not to like about staying next door to a national wildlife refuge? The New Dungeness Light Station borders on the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge that is visited by over 250 species of birds, 41 species of land mammals, and eight species of marine mammals. We regularly saw three eagles that ranged about on the south side of the Light Station grounds and I was told by one volunteer that sightings can range up to a dozen at a time. Not too shabby!

The wildlife seems to know the boundaries of the Light Station and generally kept well beyond the signs that keep visitors out of the 631 acre refuge. Our best sightings were airborne.

There are two favored perches beyond the boundaries of the light station, both of which made me envy the 400 mm. lenses of friends.

Avian hunters II

Yesterday’s post caught an eagle near Dungeness Recreation Area after a nearby field was hayed. Here’s another next to a freshly hayed field. It was one of several that hunted as haying equipment cut down tall field grasses.

Farmers begin haying in June and work long hours through the summer cutting hay, baling, and moving it to storage. Eagles pay serious attention to their work habits.