First, an interesting news story that popped up over the Holidays: According to a story in The New York Times blog in the last week a red-tailed hawk was picked up in New York and eventually made its way to The Raptor Trust. Turns out that the hawk is over 27 years old! I was curious if this was the oldest wild red-tailed hawk recovered in the wild...it's not. According to the Bird Banding Lab the oldest known wild red-tailed hawk was 29 years and 9 months old. Interesting was that this bird was also recovered in New York.
Since it's now officially winter, it's getting to be golden eagle season along the Upper Mississippi River. The National Eagle Center in Wabasha, MN will hold its annual Winter Golden Eagle Survey on January 15, 2011. The above photo is one that I took during the survey last winter. I took a route near our beehives and ended up finding 3 golden eagles. If you do not feel comfortable with your golden eagle vs immature bald eagle id skills, the National Eagle Center offers seminars to teach you how. These are helpful because they show the habitat you are more likely to find a golden eagle than you would an immature bald eagle. The next seminar is on January 8. If you are in the area, you should sing up. It's beautiful country in the winter and at the very least, you'll see lots of bald eagles, if not a few golden eagles.