With 35 species of raptors in North America, their ranges in size and different behaviors make them fascinating and create curiosity in on-lookers. Eagles, hawks, falcons, vultures, and kites as some of the most prominent and sought-after birds. This course will help you become familiar with all of them, learning the key characteristics and behaviors that will help you identify a raptor no matter where you are.
We will spend more time on the species found in Washington, helping you learn in more depth about these remarkable birds, but we will cover all the species found in the United States and Canada so you can feel confident in identifying one. The focus will be on learning techniques that will help you identify them and not just on field marks. Slides, homework, and field trips will allow you to practice these skills. We will frequently review the information to help you solidify your knowledge and feel comfortable with your new skills.
Topics discussed during the course:
Eagles: Golden Eagle, Bald Eagle, Osprey
Hawks: Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk,
Northern Goshawk, Common Black-Hawk, Harris’s Hawk, Gray
Hawk, Zone-tailed Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Broad-winged
Hawk, Short-tailed Hawk, Swainson’s Hawk, White-tailed Hawk,
Red-tailed Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk
Falcons: Crested Caracara, Aplomado Falcon, Merlin, American
Kestrel Prairie Falcon, Gyrfalcon, Peregrine Falcon
Vultures: California Condor, Turkey Vulture, Black Vulture
Kites: Hooked-billed Kite, Snail Kite, White-tailed Kite, Swallow-
tailed Kite, Mississippi Kite, Swallow-tailed Kite
The goal is to help you learn to identify raptors, know what to look for when you see one, and have a good understanding of their distribution and behavior.