Raptors in particular are what I've been seeing a lot of. Ospreys are extremely abundant here in Merritt and there are a fair number of eagles. I can't yet distinguish between a Golden Eagle and an immature bald eagle but there is time for that.
Last summer I briefly caught glimpse of a vulture...I wasn't even sure it was one and the moment was sudden and brief but the blurry picture confirmed a naked pink neck!

There are kestrels and falcons and I have seen them for the most part along the highway. The kestrels are fascinating as they hunt: in a headwind they can practically fly in one place for a full minute before suddenly dropping down like a bomb over some unfortunate field rodent.

Then there was talk of pelicans...another thing I thought was a joke. Too bad on a dull day 2 weeks ago the photo I half-hardheartedly took of what I thought were sleeping swans turned out to be small flock of pelicans. They are nowhere to be seen now- dang!

There are lots of birds I don't know the names of...here's one that was picking along the ground amidst the grass beside a cattle pen:

There are rhythms to the lives of birds that is getting easier to understand the more I see of them...rather like the deer that roam the hillsides and I imagine the bears as well. I don't know what happened to the one bald eagle I saw last week in a tree with his head literally hanging and his white feathers covered in filth. Perhaps he was old...or sick...or had scavenged from a nearby carcass and been attacked by a predator. I was glad to see him fly away after 15 minutes or so...good to know he had the strength to leave.

Now the littlest birds have re-discovered our feeder...I will have to find a guide because there are a lot of different ones from last year- many of which were not common where I grew up.

This little guy is called a Kinglet I believe:

Probably finches:

I believe these are Red/rose or house finches:

Then there are those days where you just can't (or won't) find a bird...but might get lucky by checking out the gardening departments of your local shops!

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