Learning New Things About Birds

Yesterday, I was sitting at my desk that happens to look over a dry creek bed. Purposely, the room was set up this way so I could gaze out the window while writing or working on a project for school. During my degree for environmental education, I learned that being able to gaze at green space while at work has important benefits for the employee or any person, for that matter. Gazing at green space increases productivity and decreases stress while lowering blood pressure to name a few of the advantages.

I like to look outside and often note many amazing things that through the pane of my window often become more defined and noticeable. Such was the case yesterday when I looked out the window and noted a large bird sitting in the lone tree in the dry creek bed that abuts our property on the north. Wow! This bird was big, and I wasn’t sure what it was – some kind of hawk – I supposed at first glance.


Immediately, I took off to grab my camera. The small 55mm lens was on and did not do much to augment my view of him. Next, I tried the 200mm lens for my Nikon 5200 DSLR camera. Better, but still not great. At this point, I am hurrying back and forth to my closet to switch lenses as quickly as possible. I was afraid the bird, obviously a raptor of some type, would fly off before I had a chance to better identify him.  It was time for the big guns….my 600mm telephoto lens! This had to help me get a better view of  him.

Whew! I made it back to my desk window to see that the bird was still perched on the same branch. Obviously, he was looking for a meal in the field below. Or, maybe he was just resting. He certainly wasn’t moving much. Yesterday was clear but somewhat windy and very cold!


With the help of my telephoto lense (large lense, as we joke about it at soccer games), I was able to get a better view of him. Hmmmm. I was still thinking the bird was a hawk of some kind. We have seen Cooper’s Hawks and Red-Tailed Hawks before in our coulee.  But, the more I looked, the more I wasn’t convinced. Maybe, the bird is a Golden Eagle?


I kept snapping photos – 51 in all!

Last night I had the chance to sit and review the photos. Afterwards, I did not come to any conclusion about what type of bird I had seen. He certainly wasn’t shy! My friend arrived to walk at my house in late afternoon and he stayed while we walked out the driveway to the street. Earlier a friend with a large dog, an American Bulldog, visited. This huge dog ran around the yard joyfully barking and failing to heed its owner. Still, the bird stayed.  A deer, probably freaked out by the dog, ran through the yard shortly after the dog and friend left. Still the bird stayed.


The bird had a dark, flat head and dark eyes. His chest feathers were mottled white and brown. His beak was dark and prominent. Definitely a raptor.  As I perused my meger books on Birds of North America, as well as several websites such as Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology,  I began to wonder if what I had seen was juvenile bald eagle!


I love learning new things! Certainly when it comes to birds, I have a lot to learn!  I have a history of not liking them.  You can read about the past experiences that colored my feelings about birds in a previous post.  But, as I have aged, I find that I am fascinated with these creatures.  Just the other day, I posted about being thrilled to see so many Bald Eagles on a road trip near the Mississippi River.  So, if any of my readers know what bird I saw yesterday, I would love to know!


He’s back again today.


© All Text and Photographs are copyrighted by Carol Labuzzetta. No Permission to Duplicate in any form, digitally or otherwise. Thank you.

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