Merlins are small falcons that are fairly uncommon to Eastern Colorado, so I was excited to find one and have posted four photos of him. This is a male, slightly larger than an American Kestrel, with stunning patterns on the underwing and a beautiful blue upperside.
This first photo is Bernie, the Great Horned Owl that perched in front of me and turned out to be a first-year owl. This is an October photo of his or her first year. The photo on the right are Bernie's parents (taken the following spring), Veronica (bottom) and Vladimir (top).
As the Burrowing Owls began migrating back to Colorado in the spring, I captured several photos of one who became comfortable with my presence and decided to nod off. The photo sequence on the left captures this process. A prairie dog was nearby, and as long as it wasn't barking, the owl was relaxed.
Bald Eagles are always a majestic sight, and immatures that are often mistaken for Golden Eagles, are no exception.
American Kestrels are common in Colorado and quite vocal. On the left, the male down in the tree (you can just see his head) brought a mouse to the female above. The right photo is a male, which has blue-gray wings.
Barn Owls are nocturnal and not often seen during daylight hours, but these two were resting on top of an abandoned building in a quiet area.
I watched this Great Horned Owl from birth in March and this is a photo in May. No "horns" yet (which are actually feathers, not horns or ears).
In the summer, with the first year Burrowing Owls flying, groups can be found on the eastern plains of Colorado in quiet prairie dog towns.
This is the only photo that was taken outside Colorado. This is a Short-Eared Owl, or Pueo, found on the island of Maui, near the town of Kula.
The soft lines of a Northern Harrier female make pictures look like paintings or touched up photos. These first two female pictures are unaltered photos. The second two photors are of a male, showing a contrast between male and female that is greater than any other raptor in Colorado.
Red-Tailed Hawks are common in Colorado and their familiar screech is used in movies, television, and music. This left one is in mid-screech.
Ferruginous Hawks spend the winter in Colorado and most move north during the warmer months. Prairie dogs need to watch out for this large hawk. The "ferrous," or rusty orange/red color can be seen on the wings and especially on the leg feathers.
Osprey are big raptors that nest near water (their fishing grounds) and are big enough to be mistaken for eagles to a casual observer.
Rough-Legged Hawks winter in Colorado and nest much further north during the summer.
This pair nested near our house in a tree nest above a street. Unfortunately, one of their two young (on the right) fell to the street as he/she was branching and was killed by a car. It is not unusual for a young owl to fall to the ground before fledging (flying), and the parents will continue to feed and care for their babies even if they are not in the nest. In the left photo, the female parent is the intimidating one on the left (larger) and the male is on the right (smaller).
This is a young burrowing owl who emerged from the burrow to check us out.
This bird needs no introduction.
Taking residence near a golf course in the Denver area, this unusual white (leucistic) Red-Tailed Hawk has been around for at least a decade and survived a broken wing repaired by the Birds of Prey Foundation. He's a favorite with his human neighbors and mates with a normal colored female hawk.
Swainson's Hawks spend the summer on the Colorado plains and winter in Argentina. Smaller than Red-Tailed Hawks, but with impressive wing spans for their size.
Personally, I think Turkey Vultures have sweet faces, but not everyone may agree.