Monday, September 19, 2011

Holiday Beach Festival of Hawks

On Saturday, September 17, I attended the annual Holiday Beach Festival of Hawks for the first time.  I thoroughly enjoyed it!  It was nice to see and hear from very knowledgable birders!  I was especially excited to get to release a Black-throated Blue Warbler, thanks to the generous man who adopted the bird but allowed someone else to release it.  He initially offered a child standing near me and upon refusal, I got the opportunity :)  I found the Raptor Identification class put on by Bob Pettit of the HBMO to be quite informatitve.  I also learned two other things: 1) I really need a good pair of binoculars, and 2) an 18-105mm lens just doesn't cut it.  A gentleman standing next to us shot a picture of a Juv. Bald Eagle, as did my husband with my my husband's shot, the eagle is just spec on a blue background...the man beside us captured a fanastic close-up!  I will be looking into upgrading to at least a 300mm lens before spring.

As for counting "lifers"...what are the rules?  Most of the birds I saw at the Festival (all but the Turkey Vulture and Bald Eagle) were birds I had never seen before.  Do I count the birds in the demonstrations as lifers or do they have to be seen in their natural habitat?  In the meantime, I am not counting including them on my list because it feels like cheating.  I hope you enjoy the pictures :)

Barred Owl on display...beautiful!

Broad-winged Hawk on display

One of several kettles of Broad-winged Hawks that flew overhead.

Redstart that had been banded that day.

Northern Parula that was banded and now ready for release.

This is the Black-throated Blue Warbler I got to release :D

One of many Sharp-shinned Hawks that were banded.

An Osprey that flew overhead...those who kept their eyes on it saw it dive into the trout pond...I missed it :(

American cute :) 

Look at that face :)  Bander pointing out the baffles on his nostrils.

Eastern Screech Owl on display.

Gray-cheeked Thrush banded that day.

Red-tailed Hawk that had been caught at the Airport, but released at the Festival.

Red-tailed Hawk.  Notice the trachea in his tongue!

Female Peregrine Falcon caught at the Airport.  It had already been banded, but they didn't yet know where it was from.

Female Peregrine, again.

We saw this Bald Eagle on the way home, soaring over Ojibway Parkway.  My husband pulled over so I could get some shots of it.


  1. Beautiful photos!
    I have yet to get to the Hawk Festival. I definitely have to make it next year as it looks like it would be really interesting to see the birds close up.

    I found your blog through Dwayne's Nerdy for Birdy. :)
    I post photos on my Snap out of It blog every now and then.

    My 2¢ ... I have a 300mm and I still get very frustrated that it isn't enough to shoot the birds. If you can, go bigger!

  2. I really enjoyed the Festival, so much so that I would have went the second weekend too, if time permitted. It is nice to have another visitor to my blog :)

    I would love to go bigger than 300mm....but price is a factor :(. Maybe I will just continue saving....

  3. I sent you an email but I'll post it here as well.
    Have a look at the super zoom "bridge" cameras.
    You'll get a lot of lens for much less money than what you'd have to put out for a DSLR & a decent lens for birds.
    The Nikon P500 is on sale at Henry's right now for about $350 + tax. It has a 36x Optical Zoom! That'll get you close to the birds for sure.

  4. I guess I didn't send you an email ... lol.
    Here is the link to my Flickr account so you can see the captures I got with the new camera I bought last night ... Canon SX40 HS. 35x optical zoom equivalent to a 35mm 24-840mm lens!
    Maybe you can ask Santa for one for Christmas. ;)

    I hope you post some more soon! If you ever want some company when you go out birding, let me know.