Question for raptor enthusiasts.

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Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby UglyStick » Apr Thu 12, 2018 11:08 am

A secluded retention pond I frequent had one, now four as of yesterday, large totally black raptors I've never seen before.
Imagine a red tail hawk and everything it's behavior entails, but slightly larger and quite skittish. I pulled up to the parking
lot, where they rested in the trees and were gone on the thermals instantly. All I can see is black and big. Anyone have an
idea what they are? They don't seem interested in the water, but soar high above it.
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby Rich D » Apr Thu 12, 2018 11:15 am

Turkey vultures?

In flight they glide, rarely flapping their wings - at least by my amateurish observations.
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby Phil6 » Apr Thu 12, 2018 11:23 am

Totally black and large? Could be Ravens

But Rich is spot on about the Turkey Vultures, they LOVE riding thermals. Only problem is they're not all black- but from a distance they can look all black.

Its also possible that its a group of juvenile raptors of some kind which havent developed their mature colors yet
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby Rambler » Apr Thu 12, 2018 12:46 pm

Black Vultures. All black with faint white on the trailing edges of their wings. Soar on thermals. Much more common around here than Turkey Vultures. Not as big as Turkey Vultures & have black, not pink heads.

I was wetting a line on Salt Creek yesterday. There were a bunch of high school kids hanging around. A Black Vulture flew over & one said, "Look - a hawk!". Didn't bother to correct him.

Whenever one flies over me I tell him, "not my time yet - get lost". :D
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby Phil6 » Apr Thu 12, 2018 12:54 pm

Rambler wrote: Much more common around here than Turkey Vultures.



wow... learn something new every day :oops:
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby threeats407 » Apr Thu 12, 2018 9:54 pm

Two vultures. :)
ImageImpatient by Glenn Hanson, on Flickr

and the Wild Hogs vulture scene.
Imagehogs by Glenn Hanson, on Flickr
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby Skifish1 » Apr Thu 12, 2018 10:17 pm

If they look like like their heads were torched they likely were T vultures passing through....
If you don't know much about sighting birds (and really weren't soaring) they may have been cormorants
Those are your 2 options for big black birds...(if they were crows you would know it and ravens aren't around here)

If not either of those than it was probably this..

potter.jpg
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby UglyStick » Apr Fri 13, 2018 6:37 am

Thanks Rambler. With the area I live in, over fished Crook county, that makes perfect sense.
Used to have ospreys, now we have vultures.
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby Rambler » Apr Fri 13, 2018 7:38 am

Phil6 wrote:wow... learn something new every day :oops:

Only if you're lucky.
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby Rambler » Apr Fri 13, 2018 7:40 am

UglyStick wrote:Used to have ospreys, now we have vultures.

Still have ospreys from time-to-time. They don't much like people.
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby Rich D » Apr Fri 13, 2018 7:50 am

So many great birds coming back to the area. Over this past winter all of my Fox outings involved bald eagle sightings, with one of my spots seemingly home to a resident osprey.

Last week, in Warrenville, I drove by two sandhill cranes, just standing by the side of the road next to a small pond. I slowed down to look at them in disbelief.


Very cool, very much appreciated.
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby Phil6 » Apr Fri 13, 2018 8:14 am

Skifish1 wrote:ravens aren't around here


I know theyre not supposed to be here according to range maps but I'm 99.99% sure I've seen a pair in northern IL. Could have been passing through temporarily.
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby Lip_Yanker » Apr Fri 13, 2018 8:14 am

Rambler wrote:Black Vultures. All black with faint white on the trailing edges of their wings. Soar on thermals. Much more common around here than Turkey Vultures. Not as big as Turkey Vultures & have black, not pink heads.

Whenever one flies over me I tell him, "not my time yet - get lost". :D


Rambler is correct with that analysis. Years ago we used to see them out on the Mississippi River, then about 10 years or so ago we started seeing them out on the Rock River. About 5 years ago, we started seeing them around here- the first couple years they only were around in the warmer months, but now they seem to be year round.


And Rambler, you remind me of my dad, as he has said the same thing for years whenever any vultures were overhead... "It's not my time ya bastards, get lost!" :)



But speaking of Raptors... Henrieta Red Tail Hawk is building her nest in a big old Maple tree about 50' from our back door. It's been fun watching her the last few weeks picking up branches and such from our yard for construction.

Every time she lands in the yard, the tree rats freeze like statues and hold their breath while she's on the ground. As soon as she heads back to the nest, they all breathe a collective sigh of relief. :lol:
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby urbanHog312 » Apr Fri 13, 2018 8:48 am

i have turkeys by my house in wheaton. not turkey vultures. wild, eastern turkeys
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby matt_ski » Apr Fri 13, 2018 9:02 am

urbanHog312 wrote:i have turkeys by my house in wheaton. not turkey vultures. wild, eastern turkeys


Saves you a trip to jewel on thanksgiving
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby urbanHog312 » Apr Fri 13, 2018 1:03 pm

hahaha. ill actually be grabbing my thanksgiving bird next weekend when i blow its head off.
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby Rambler » Apr Fri 13, 2018 3:19 pm

Rich D wrote:So many great birds coming back to the area. Over this past winter all of my Fox outings involved bald eagle sightings, with one of my spots seemingly home to a resident osprey.

Last week, in Warrenville, I drove by two sandhill cranes, just standing by the side of the road next to a small pond. I slowed down to look at them in disbelief.


Very cool, very much appreciated.

Spring migration is definitely on. Took a stroll along Salt Creek yesterday - looking for signs of fish. No fish but lots of birds. Usual Cardinals, Robins, etc. But Kinglets, Warblers and some Kingbirds too. They'll be sorely disappointed if it turns really cold again but they'll get by.

Saw another Turkey Vulture as well. Told him to get lost.
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby Lip_Yanker » Apr Tue 17, 2018 9:16 am

Haven't seen any Sandhill yet. Usually over about a week period in the spring there are several hundred that fly over our house, squaking and clacking along the way.
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby KankRat » Apr Thu 26, 2018 12:27 pm

Turkey Vultures are extremely common in Illinois. This year I am noticing really big numbers. I have never seen a black vulture in my life. To my knowledge the Chicago are would be out of their range, way out.

Here is a shot of a turkey vulture I took out in California. Pretty good close up.
ImageTurkey Vulture by Mark Kasick, on Flickr

A raven in the Chicago area would be an extremely rare thing also WAY out of range. Here is a pic of one, also out in Ca. Note the tuft of hair on the bill. That's the give away ID.
ImageRaven 1 by Mark Kasick, on Flickr
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby KankRat » Apr Thu 26, 2018 12:40 pm

UglyStick wrote:Thanks Rambler. With the area I live in, over fished Crook county, that makes perfect sense.
Used to have ospreys, now we have vultures.


Osprey are doing great. I was at Sagnaskee Slough last weekend. The nest (visible from the parking lot on Willow Springs Rd) is occupied by a pair. One douche bag fishing directly below the platform despite the sign saying to keep your distance. The osprey was really nervous- flying back and forth. Was hoping it would take nice fishy dump right on his head.
Here is a pic from a couple years ago.
ImageOsprey by Mark Kasick, on Flickr
Not only is that nest occupied but the platform at Little Red School House seems to have potential tenants. The female was cleaning the platform off and it looks like both were buildinga nest.
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby Phil6 » Apr Thu 26, 2018 12:57 pm

KankRat wrote:WAY out of range


Image

winter map (source- USGS)

Rare, but not unheard of. Maybe we'll start seeing them around.

Unrelated but it looks like a crows are starting to make a big comeback after the huge die off years ago. Seeing lots of adolescent groups hanging out.


KankRat wrote:Osprey are doing great


So happy to hear this. Great picture of an absolutely gorgeous bird. Hopefully Ill see one in the near future.
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby Rich D » Apr Thu 26, 2018 1:11 pm

Thanks, Mark!

I keep meaning to learn more about birds. Would love to be able to identify some of the common back and forth calls I hear when out in the woods.
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby Rambler » Apr Thu 26, 2018 3:24 pm

Not to disagree Mark but I've been a birder for going on 50 years. Back in the day we didn't see vultures - Black or Turkey - around Chicago. These days I see Blacks all the time - Turkeys less so. It might have something to do with where we are. In the Cook Cty FPs I find Blacks are more common.

Phil6 wrote:Unrelated but it looks like a crows are starting to make a big comeback after the huge die off years ago. Seeing lots of adolescent groups hanging out.


Crows and their cousins, Blue Jays are highly vulnerable to West Nile Fever. The big die off a few years back was due to this. When I hear crows & jays in the woods during the Summer I'm happy not just because they're there but also because it means there's probably no West Nile virus around.
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby Bassin' Ted » Apr Thu 26, 2018 3:27 pm

I'm not a fan of Fords but I saw this one up close and it is a badass machine! The color is gorgeous.
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby Phil6 » Apr Thu 26, 2018 3:27 pm

Rambler wrote:Crows and their cousins, Blue Jays are highly vulnerable to West Nile Fever. The big die off a few years back was due to this. When I hear crows & jays in the woods during the Summer I'm happy not just because they're there but also because it means there's probably no West Nile virus around.



I wasnt aware that it had killed off Blue Jays, but now that you mention it I have seen a lot more of them than I ever did when I was younger.
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby Rambler » Apr Thu 26, 2018 3:32 pm

Bassin' Ted wrote:I'm not a fan of Fords but I saw this one up close and it is a badass machine! The color is gorgeous.

That truck is insane. 450HP 3.5L V6. WTF??? You could hawl a lot of shit at very high rates of speed with that setup. Assuming of course you don't mind spending over $50k (just for starters) on A FREAKING PICKUP TRUCK!!! :lol:
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby KankRat » Apr Thu 26, 2018 6:33 pm

Rambler wrote:
Bassin' Ted wrote:I'm not a fan of Fords but I saw this one up close and it is a badass machine! The color is gorgeous.

That truck is insane. 450HP 3.5L V6. WTF??? You could hawl a lot of shit at very high rates of speed with that setup. Assuming of course you don't mind spending over $50k (just for starters) on A FREAKING PICKUP TRUCK!!! :lol:
Rambler wrote:Not to disagree Mark but I've been a birder for going on 50 years. Back in the day we didn't see vultures - Black or Turkey - around Chicago. These days I see Blacks all the time - Turkeys less so. It might have something to do with where we are. In the Cook Cty FPs I find Blacks are more common.

Phil6 wrote:Unrelated but it looks like a crows are starting to make a big comeback after the huge die off years ago. Seeing lots of adolescent groups hanging out.


Crows and their cousins, Blue Jays are highly vulnerable to West Nile Fever. The big die off a few years back was due to this. When I hear crows & jays in the woods during the Summer I'm happy not just because they're there but also because it means there's probably no West Nile virus around.


Where is we are?
Honestly I have never seen one. Apparantly they do exist 'round these parts.
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Bla ... -sightings
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby KankRat » Apr Thu 26, 2018 6:36 pm

[/quote]
Rambler wrote:Not to disagree Mark but I've been a birder for going on 50 years. Back in the day we didn't see vultures - Black or Turkey - around Chicago. These days I see Blacks all the time - Turkeys less so. It might have something to do with where we are. In the Cook Cty FPs I find Blacks are more common.

Phil6 wrote:Unrelated but it looks like a crows are starting to make a big comeback after the huge die off years ago. Seeing lots of adolescent groups hanging out.


Crows and their cousins, Blue Jays are highly vulnerable to West Nile Fever. The big die off a few years back was due to this. When I hear crows & jays in the woods during the Summer I'm happy not just because they're there but also because it means there's probably no West Nile virus around.


Where is we are?
Honestly I have never seen one. Apparantly they do exist 'round these parts. I do believe that TVs outnumber them by huge margins. But would not be the first time I was wrong.
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Bla ... -sightings[/quote]
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby KankRat » Apr Thu 26, 2018 7:40 pm

Wow, giving myself an atta-boy on this one. I forgot I shot this, This is with an old Nikkor Zoom @ 145mm. I'm sure I cropped this. ImageTurkey Vulture by Mark Kasick, on Flickr

Really interesting articles on vultures if google "vulture digestive" or "vulture smell"
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby Busse Jim » Apr Thu 26, 2018 8:24 pm

Sorry Rambler but I got to agree with Kank, I have never identified a black vulture round here. And since 2012 I’ve seen dozens and dozens of turkey vultures, more every year since. I realize the white at the end of the wings varies in intensity but there is no way they are even remotely more common than the turkeys. There northern most range makes it midway up Illinois, and sure there might be some spillover in the range but turkey vultures are the predominate vulture in these parts
Seen immature and adult Ospreys at busse but never a raven,. Not sure I could tell the difference between one and a crow at a distance, unless it squawked “ nevermore” .
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby Bassin' Ted » Apr Fri 27, 2018 5:19 am

Rambler wrote:
Bassin' Ted wrote:I'm not a fan of Fords but I saw this one up close and it is a badass machine! The color is gorgeous.

That truck is insane. 450HP 3.5L V6. WTF??? You could hawl a lot of shit at very high rates of speed with that setup. Assuming of course you don't mind spending over $50k (just for starters) on A FREAKING PICKUP TRUCK!!! :lol:


I hear ya. I would never get one. 50K+ is the cost of a full size loaded truck nowadays. I have gotten comfortable to the fact that my next pickup in a couple years (Tundra) will be somewhere in the 40s. That's just the price to play.
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby KankRat » Apr Fri 27, 2018 7:26 am

Rich D wrote:So many great birds coming back to the area. Over this past winter all of my Fox outings involved bald eagle sightings, with one of my spots seemingly home to a resident osprey.

Last week, in Warrenville, I drove by two sandhill cranes, just standing by the side of the road next to a small pond. I slowed down to look at them in disbelief.


Very cool, very much appreciated.
Rich D wrote:Thanks, Mark!

The Audubon app is something like $5. It has calls and is excellent for ID.

This book covers 99% of what you will see in Chicagoland without all the extras.
https://www.amazon.com/Birds-Chicago-U- ... icago+book



I keep meaning to learn more about birds. Would love to be able to identify some of the common back and forth calls I hear when out in the woods.
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby Rich D » Apr Fri 27, 2018 8:04 am

Thanks again, Mark. Very much appreciated!
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby Rambler » Apr Fri 27, 2018 8:10 am

Bassin' Ted wrote:50K+ is the cost of a full size loaded truck nowadays. I have gotten comfortable to the fact that my next pickup in a couple years (Tundra) will be somewhere in the 40s. That's just the price to play.

I come from a time & place where people drove cars. Not SUVs, crosscrap, etc. - CARS. Farmers drove pickups - and we liked it that way. My favorite pickup was always the Studebaker Champ - what a classic. Last time I saw one on the road was in the early 70s on the West side of Teton pass.

Now back to the whole vulture thing. Maybe I'm wrong or maybe what I've been seeing lo these many years are Turkey Vultures in blackface. I'M REPORTING THEM IMMEDIATELY TO THE PC POLICE. THIS WILL NOT GO UNPUNISHED!!! :lol:

One last vulture thing. Frequently when one (usually a Black no matter what you guys think) flies overhead I think of one of my heroes - the late, great Edward Abbey author of classics such as 'The Brave Cowboy', 'Desert Solitaire' and 'The Monkey Wrench Gang'. He always wanted to die on a rock bench looking out over what he called "The back of beyond" in the American SW where his bones could be picked clean by vultures.

Unfortunately he died on an operating table. I have always suspected his heirs & friends laid his body out somewhere on the Arizona strip North of the Grand Canyon so at least part of his wish could come true. At least I hope they did.
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby KankRat » Apr Fri 27, 2018 8:20 am

Rich D wrote:Thanks again, Mark. Very much appreciated!


No prob. Here is that app.

http://www.audubon.org/app
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Re: Question for raptor enthusiasts.

Postby grems » Apr Fri 27, 2018 1:14 pm

I use the Merlin Bird ID app from Cornell, very good at identifying birds through a simple set of questions, free but no bird calls.
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