Hawks, Owls, and other Raptors

July, 2012 - A couple here in Waupun had about a dozen screech owls in their yard for over a month, young ones that probably fledged from a half-dead tree in their backyard. For more pictures and information, click HERE.

January 8, 2007 - Every winter, we seem to get a Snowy Owl hanging out along Hwy 49, in Horicon Marsh. This winter was no different. On January 8th, I found him on his favorite muskrat hut. from there, he flew to the other side of the highway, and landed on a pipe sticking out of the water. I thought he was looking down the pipe in the third picture, but he was bringing up a pellet (un-digestible bones and fur), which he coughed up, onto the ice below.

From the pipe , he took off, and skimmed across the ice, until he found a good place to sit, and watch the vegetation along the highway for rodents. Too dark for any more pictures after he landed.

June 13, 2006 - I found this Short-Eared Owl hunting in Horicon Marsh NWR just after 8:00am.

On July 20, 2006, on the way home from an evening bird club field trip in Horicon Marsh, I saw this Great-Horned owl off in the distance. It was too dark to get any detail, but I thought it would make a good silhouette. Then a young Great-Horned Owl on July 13, 2006, hunting for rodents on the roadside, lit up by my headlights, only about 20 feet in front of me. The third picture is a Great-Horned Owl on May 08, 2005, at his nest in Appleton, with what looks likes a turkey!

Sept. 27, 06 - Every winter, this "Sharpie" makes the bird feeders across the street, a regular stop through his part of town, although this time, he caught a shrew in front of the gutter pipe on the west side of the house, instead of a songbird at the feeders.

May 23, 2006 - At a Redtail Hawk nest in Appleton, WI. The adults have a past history of taking babies out of the local blackbird nests, so they persistantly strike the hawks from above, often holding on for 5 to 6 seconds at a time.

Because of the pestering blackbirds, the hawks sometimes circle around, or even land in another tree, before finally taking a mouse to the babies in the nest.

And finally, a few shots of the babies in the nest.

May 28, 2006 - More pictures of the adults bringing back food, and being harassed by the blackbirds.

This one landed in two different trees, trying to shake the blackbirds, before taking this rodent to the nest.

4-16-06 A Snowy Owl hanging around Wisconsin a little longer than expected, along Hwy 49 in Horicon Marsh.

7-13-05 - An Osprey nest three miles north of Mt. Calvary, WI. An incoming shot with a catfish at 6:53PM, and a landing shot 33 seconds later, after flying around in a circle. The third picture is a landing shot with some nesting material the next day, at 7:20PM.

2-24-05 - Since October, a shortage of rodents in Canada has driven an estimated 5000 Great Gray Owls south, into Northern Minnisota and Northwestern Wisconsin in search of food. I finally made the 600-mile round trip to Douglas County in extreme NW WI. Here are some of the pictures I got of the 4 Gray Owls I saw along a 9 mile stretch of Hwy 35, between 4:00 and 5:30pm.

4:20pm I was lucky enough to be ready for this one when he took off.

5:20pm I was ready for these take-off shots also, but I was running out of daylight. These are the last useable shots that I got before I headed back to Waupun, in Dodge County.

4:54pm While going north on 35, I somehow missed this Barred Owl. I turned around in the town of Chaffey and headed back south. I spotted him two miles south of Chaffey, on the east side of the road. He wouldn't look directly at me, so I made a few noises to get his attention. When I whistled, he looked up, for birds. I waited him out, and he finally co-operated.

2-18-05 (late afternoon) Also a product of the rodent shortage in Canada, a Northern Hawk Owl at Harrington Beach State Park was all over the news, as "Making a rare appearance in Southeast Wisconsin." I thought this was worthy of a few spots on my website, and made the 60 mile trip. He was easy to find, and photograph, as they are daytime owls, and not afraid of people.

2-18-05 (mid morning) A Kestrel (small falcon) on a power line with a mouse on Hwy 60, just east of Lodi, Wisconsin.

1-29-05 A Snowy Owl three miles southwest of Waupun, on top of a utility pole. The next day, hoping to get him on a fence post, he was in the same spot, so I went past, and got his backside.

2-11-05 A couple weeks later, I got this second Snowy Owl while driving through Horicon Marsh Wildlife Refuge, on Hwy 49. I was lucky enough to be ready, when he took off.

A Sharp-shinned Hawk on a utility pole across the street from my house in Waupun, 1-16-04. Another high in a birch tree on Main st. in Waupun, 2-29-04. If you're not familiar with the Sharp-shinned, this is what comes out of nowhere, and snatches songbirds from your feeder all winter. Then a picture of an immature redtail hawk hanging around Lawrence University, on the banks of the Fox River, in Appleton, 9-5-04.

Pic 1) A great Horned Owl nest a mile East of Appleton, WI, on Hwy C, 4-15-04 Pic 2&3) A Merlin on Hwy 49, a quarter mile East of Waupun (two miles west of Horicon Marsh) 12-13-03

January 5, 2004 (A bad day to be a mouse!) This Redtail Hawk was in a tree along Hwy 49, just a few hundred yards outside of Waupun. As he spotted a mouse, I cought him just letting go of the branch, wings not spread out yet. After catching and eating the mouse, I got him coming back around the tree, where he perched behind too many branches for me to stick around.

Three pics of a Barred Owl, the first facing me, then turned around, facing to the right, then his head turned 180 degrees back at me. Two miles west of West Bend, near the northern tip of Cedar Lake. 4-9-04, 5:00 PM.

Considered somewhere between uncommon and rare, I got these shots of a female Peregrine Falcon while driving through Horicon Marsh on Hwy 49. August 2, 2003.

Northern Harriers in Horicon Marsh. Pic 1)Hovering over something. Pic 2)A good look at the top, as it turns. Pic 3)Taking a mouse out to the trees.


Back to Jeff's HOME PAGE