Winter Raptor Wander 1/20/2018

On a sunny & windy January day, we looked for wintering raptors between Cascade and Great Falls. Winter is a great time to search as the trees have no leaves, making it easier to spot birds on tree limbs. We spotted: 3 Prairie Falcons, 3 Golden Eagles, 1 Red-Tailed Hawk, 3 Roughleg Hawks, 6 Bald Eagles, 1 juvenile Goshawk, numerous Ravens & Magpies, 250 Common Goldeneye, deer and antelope, and 1 raccoon in a tree cavity. It was a fun morning! Two sightings were particularly memorable—a golden eagle perched on a dirt pile, hunkered down from the wind, but scouting for food, and another Golden Eagle perched in a favorite tree with the sunlight just right to bring out the golden feathers–beautiful.
We wondered if the raccoon will be evicted when the Great Horned Owls return.