While playing with the kids today in Marathon Park, I heard a high pitched sort of whistling shriek. I was more than a little surprised to look up in the trees and see not one, not two, but five raptors in one tree! Even more suprising was that thesebirds were flying around the tall pine trees right over the children’s playgrounds where all the people were. So it was quite a show for those who looked up.
I am saying “raptors” because even after enlarging the pictures and consulting a bird guide, I still do not feel comfortable making an identification in print. It seems that the five birds constitute a family with 2 adults and 3 immature birds. One of the interesting behaviors that observed was an immature bird would come down to the ground and grab a stick or a leaf and throw it around a bit, apparently practicing their hunting skills. They were so involved with their game that they let people walk quite close to them. It was an interesting display.
If any of you have an idea of exactly what kind of birds these are, I would appreciate that. I have a few guesses, but don’t want to prejudice anyone. I apologize for the poor quality of the photos, but they were taken with a “point and shoot” digital. They are quite good considering the equipment, but not exactly National Geographic.
As usual, I have posted one here and the rest are on the Flickr Site.