Raptor, 23 November 2010


No, I haven’t been hanging around on any Air Force bases lately…as much fun as that would be.


Photo Information:

Camera: Nikon D80
Lens: Nikon Nikkor 80-200mm f/4.5-5.6
ISO Equivalency: 100
Color Setting: Vivid

As usual, I already had in mind what I wanted to post today, so naturally, I encountered something completely random that I decided to post, instead. No, really…I found this bird [1] while walking along Lake Michigan, just north of the Museum Campus. According to the bird watcher I encountered nearby, this is a Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), [2][3] and he’s a regular around those parts (the bird, that is). Amazing what you can find in the middle of the third largest city in the nation, eh?



[1]: Okay, okay…I noticed the bird-watcher photographing something in the tree, and being insatiably curious, I decided to check out what had caught his attention. I wasn’t disappointed.

[2]: More information on the Red-tailed Hawk available here (Wikipedia article). I’m guessing that he belongs to the subspecies, Buteo jamaicensis borealis, given that Chicago is within the range where one would expect to find this subspecies. OTOH, since I’m not a biologist, I can’t be sure what sort he is, and I also can’t discount the possibility that he belongs to an entirely different subspecies and was somehow imported to Chicago – with all the cargo (legal and illegal) moving in and out of this area, it wouldn’t surprise me if he wasn’t a native.

[3]: This may be one of the few occasions where I don’t particularly like the Latin equivalent. Buteo…how’s that supposed to sound cool? OTOH, the Latin root for “raptor” is rapere, meaning to grab (makes sense, right?), and raptor is an awesome word. Of course, rapere is also the root for “rape,” so I probably shouldn’t let on that I like the word too much, lest y’all perverts get the wrong idea.

  [4]: BTW, thanks to the random bird-watcher for both pointing out that the bird was there, and also for identifying said bird…without your assistance, I would likely have walked right by without noticing, and as with plants and such, I’m horribly inept at trying to identify animals (apart from vague classifications…like, well…it’s a bird – figured that part out all by myself!).


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