Thursday, March 02, 2006

Caracara and teal

The crested caracara, or Mexican eagle, is a big long-legged funny-looking bird whose range seems to be increasing northward. It is technically a falcon, but often behaves like a vulture, feeding on carrion. But when you see one in flight the phylogenetic falconhood becomes plausible--they fly fast and erratically, with a falcon-like wingbeat. They are kind of drive-by birds, gone before you get your camera ready. But sometimes a bad photo is better than none at all, at least if you have been unavailingly trying to photograph one for months. So today I got a slightly out-of-focus photo, but better than my previous attempts which have been blurred pictures of trees and clouds.

Caracara over Onion Creek, with missing tail feathers

This green-winged teal was also at Onion creek. Here he is swimming...

...and here he has waddled ashore. Same bird.

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