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Cattails in the WInd

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Haliburton Wildlife Part Three - Raptors!

Posted by Lorac Tuesday, 16 June 2009

I have had a few surprises while researching this. What I thought was going to be an easy post has turned out to be a few difficult posts.There are a lot more animals than I originally thought about. I have also learned some really interesting facts about our wildlife.I recommend to anyone in any area to look up your wildlife and have a read. You may be surprised too!
I am going to delve into the feathered wildlife for this post. And surprise surprise! There are also too many to cover so I will once again cover the more common ones. I shall start out with the Raptors! No, not the dinosaurs or the Toronto basketball team. The word Raptor comes from a Latin word meaning to seize or plunder. Today Raptor is used to describe a group of birds prey. All raptors have a strong hooked beak,sharp talons, keen eyesight and a carnivorous diet.
Once again I will start big to small.

Bald Eagle - These birds are the largest bird in Ontario and increasing in numbers. Their wing span is 2 meters in length. The Bald Eagle feeds primarily on fish, aquatic birds, and mammals, which it may take alive or find dead. Much of its live prey, especially the waterfowl, consists of sickly individuals or those wounded by hunters. When its staple foods are not available, a Bald Eagle will eat almost anything that has food value. The nest is the largest of any bird in North America; it is used repeatedly over many years and with new material added each year may eventually be as large as 4 metres (13 ft) deep, 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) across and weigh 1 tonne. One nest in Florida was found to be 6.1 metres (20 ft) deep, 2.9 metres (9.5 ft) across, and to weigh 2.722 tonnes (3.0 short tons).The nest is built out of branches, usually in large trees near water

Turkey Vulture- Ugly as sin close up but the most beautiful glider of them all. This vulture has a large wingspan with a smaller body.The Turkey Vulture is a large bird. It has a wingspan of 170–183 cm (67–72 in), Turkey Vultures are carrion feeders and so they like roads. Lots of carrion there. As the roads have expanded up in cottage country, so have the Turkey Vultures. Spends most time soaring, infrequent flaps are slow and laborious. Has a long rounded tail .Eggs are generally laid in the nesting site in a protected location such as a cliff, a cave, a rock crevice, a burrow, inside a hollow tree, or in a thicket. There is little or no construction of a nest; eggs are laid on a bare surface.

Osprey - It is a large raptor reaching 60 centimeters (24 in) in length with a 1.8 metre (6 ft) wingspan. the Osprey's diet consists almost exclusively of fish.occasionally, the Osprey may prey on rodents, rabbits, hares, amphibians, other birds and small reptiles. The Osprey breeds by freshwater lakes,The nest is a large heap of sticks, driftwood and seaweed built in forks of trees, rocky outcrops, utility poles, artificial platforms or offshore islets.

Northern Harrier - The Hen Harrier is 45–55 cm long with a 97–118 cm wingspan. It resembles other harriers in having distinct male and female plumage's. The sexes also differ in weight, with males weighing an average of 350 g and females an average of 530 g. This medium-sized raptor breeds on moorland, swamps and bogs. The nest is on the ground. Four to six whitish eggs are laid. Harriers hunt small mammals and birds surprising them as they drift low over fields and moors.

Barred Owl - The Barred Owl is a large owl. It goes by many other names, including eight hooter, rain owl, wood owl, and striped owl, but is probably known best as the hoot owl .The adult is 44 cm long with a 112 cm wingspan. Breeding habitat is dense woods across Canada The diet of the Barred Owl consists mostly of mice of many species, but it also feeds on rabbits, chipmunks, possum and also birds such as grouse and doves. It occasionally wades into water in order to capture fish. Barred Owl's nest is often in a tree cavity; it may also take over an old nesting site used by a crow or squirrel.

Great Gray Owl -The length ranges from 61 to 84 cm (24 to 33 in), averaging 72 cm (27 in) for females and 67 cm (26 in) for males. The wingspan can exceed 152 cm (60 in),heir breeding habitat is the dense coniferous forests, near open areas, such as meadows or bogs. Great Grey Owls do not build nests, so typically use nests previously used by another large bird, such as a raptor.They will also nest in broken-topped trees and cavities in large trees.They have excellent hearing, and may locate (and then capture) prey moving beneath 60 cm (2 feet) of snow in a series of tunnels solely with that sense. These owls can crash through snow that could support the weight of a 180-pound person. Unlike the more versatile eagle and horned owls, Great Grey Owls rely almost fully upon small rodents with voles being their most important food source. Locally, alternative prey animals (usually comprising less than 20% of prey intake) include
hares, moles, shrews, weasels, thrushes, grouse, Jays, small hawks and ducks.

Short Eared Owl Short-eared Owl, is a medium-sized owl averaging 34–43 cm (13 to 17 inches) in length and weighing 206–475 grams (11 to 13 ounces). Wingspans range from 85 to 103 cm (38 to 44 inches). Females are slightly larger than males. The Short-eared Owl nests on the ground in prairie, tundra, savanna, or meadow habitats. Nests are concealed by low vegetation, and may be lightly lined by weeds, grass, or feathers Its food consists mainly of rodents especially voles but it will eat other small mammals and some large insects. Sometimes it even tends to eat smaller birds.


  1. betty-NZ Says:
  2. Gorgeous birds! I can look at them all day!

    I haven't had any trouble with word verification, that I know of.

  3. Glennis Says:
  4. These birds are so great, I like owls with their big eyes.

  5. Delwyn Says:
  6. Hi Lorac

    That turkey vulture sure is ugly but what stylish flying...

    I have a couple of pairs of Brahminy kites across the river...they mate for life and can live 20 years. I am always stopping to watch the way they glide over the river to catch fish...

    Happy days

  7. Tarun Kumar Says:
  8. The CIC organised at its recent General Assembly an international competition on wildlife photography, with the title “Mammal Predators in Their Habitats”. For complete report

  9. Lorac Says:
  10. Thanks Bhuvan Chand for this information. I will go to check it out. I noticed on your web page that there isn't a comments area.


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I have lived in Georgetown for 37 years but have traveled around a great deal. I own my own business which takes a lot of my time but try to blog as much as possible! I love to take pictures, no training, just a love of photography. Enjoy the pics but please do not copy them.
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