12/31/13 Website Update: Added Harlan's Hawks and some other assorted photos on the Ferruginous Hawk page and the Golden Eagle page
12/26/13 Website Update: Added content for Colorado's three accipiters on their own page
Introduction to the Website Author
My name is Jon and I have been watching birds for several years now. My weekday job is engineering management, while my weekends and some evenings are spent with the birds. I work with the Birds of Prey Foundation, a raptor rehabilitation center, which is how I try to give back to the wonderful animals that I admire. When I am not working these jobs, I go out and watch/photograph birds. I do not interfere with the birds' activities (their lives are hard enough without being harrassed) and I shoot with setup that gives me an 840 mm focal length so I can obtain good photos from a distance. The photos on this website are all wild birds; my position with the Birds of Prey Foundation also gives me an opportunity to photograph these "patients," but I believe that these photos are the foundation's property.
Please feel free to email photos to me and I am very happy to help identify your birds and tell you more about them - especially the raptors. My email address is in the "Contact Me" tab, written in a way to avoid spam, but requiring a little cut, paste, and editing to reach me.
Late fall is a great time of year for raptors in Colorado. Merlins can be found across the eastern plains, and in late fall, the Rough-legged Hawks make their return from the Arctic Circle and thereabouts. Here are a couple that I found in early December:
How I became addicted to birding
On an August day after a few months of casual birdwatching, I strolled through a tree stand, not looking for anything in particular, and as I turned my gaze to eye level, saw a Great Horned Owl 15 feet in front of me on a thin wooden post. My first thought was that it was an odd place to put a plastic owl, but then it blinked. It was that moment that turned a casual activity into an obsession, with a particular fascination with raptors, the hunters of the bird world. The beauty and variety of these birds continues to astound me, and watching their behavior in the wild is pure enjoyment for me.
Now a full-fledged birder, I find myself looking to the sky, often with camera in hand, and choose to share my photos with those who take an interest in our feathered friends. That is what this website is all about. I hope you enjoy this site.
The owl heads at the top of the page are all Burrowing Owls that I photographed. These little owls are fun to watch, and as their name implies, burrow underground for shelter and nesting. In Colorado, they choose prairie dog burrows and live amongst the dogs where both species watch for predators. The Great Horned Owl below is the mother of the first-year bird, Bernie, that got me into this. I watched this mother raise another owlet the following spring, from sitting on eggs on January 31st through fledging in April. This youngster is named Rocky, pictured below Veronica (his mother who has remarkably big feet).