Sunday, October 3, 2010

Church Conference Sunday

I slept in until 6:30 today but was still greeted by the sun as it peeked over the Tetons.  The impurities in the air colored it a brilliant orange.

I decided to go for a drive out to Market Lake, but the duck season opened yesterday and there were more hunters than birds.  West of Market Lake and the freeway, I found a newly baled hay field with 19 hawks in it.  Swainson's, kestrels, Ferruginous and the Red-tails that have started moving down out of the mountains were all killing gophers and mice.

I watched as a pair of Swainson's were trying to teach two immatures how to harvest gophers.  Here one of the adults carries a gopher out in the field to drop it.

The other adult yells at the youngster (and me) to get going.

Both parents chase after the Red-tails that were trying to get it, but eventually the immature Swainson's gets it before one of the Red-tails comes back to the post.

Then the parents try to chase the other youngster off its perch to try to get it hunting, but like a lot of stubborn children, it is easier for mom and dad to provide.

Just another wild day in Idaho.  I make it back home by 10a.m. for the Conference broadcast.


Gaelyn said...

Such a marvelous treat for your day. The Swainsons are majestic. Guess parenting has many similarities across the species.

Shirleyanne said...

Such amazing photos Bill! What a good & best start to the day, a sunrise followed by wildlife, brilliant!

Grayquill said...

You never cease to amaze me – great pictures! So impressive.

troutbirder said...

Great post Bill. I can't imagine seeing 19 hawks of various species all in one field and a hunting lesson to boot. A raptors paradise.

Jayne said...

Wow... that was quite a day! I would be so mesmerized by the sight of that many raptors, I would have forgotten my camera around my neck!

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

I always leave your site in awe of your beautiful pictures and writings.
When someone as gifted as you compliments me on my writing I am giddy for days. lol All my life I have had books in my head and only one time put them to paper years ago.
Thanks for stopping by and if Alan and I were a couple I would drop him like a hot potato but we are just friends who try to tolerate each other now and then. hahah
Love your site

DaveABirding said...

Nice shots, really like #4.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Gorgeous images of these hunters, just wonderful clarity. We have arrived back home safely. My Bill wanted to know how far NW we would have to travel to view the Great Gray Owls~

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Bill, I always see something interesting when I come to your blog.... Seeing that hawk holding onto that gopher tickled me... Wish the hawks here would capture about a million of our chipmunks and help us get rid of them... ha

Great pictures... Have a good week.

Janie said...

Fascinating to watch the hawks interacting over the gopher meal. The sunrise was gorgeous, too.

NatureFootstep said...

what an interesting post! And great photos too. :)