Saturday, December 28, 2013

This Week's Crops & Clips: Northern Harrier

We recently visited Green Cay Wetlands in Boynton Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida. This is the nature center and the beginning of one loop of the well-maintained boardwalk.

Green Cay Nature Center 4-20121226

 As we walked a mile and a half along the boardwalk, a Northern Harrier made several passes over the area, but I failed to get very good images.

 Northern Harrier 6-20131210

Northern Harrier 8-20131210

Then, just before we departed, it flew right towards us, into the wind. 

Northern Harrier 7-20131210

Northern Harrier 20131210

The harrier performed a series of low-level stalling maneuvers-- gliding upward and then suddenly falling almost to the ground before it regained lift. 

Northern Harrier 3-20131210

Northern Harrier 5-20131210

Since the harrier glides with its wings configured in a strong dihedral angle (V-shape), it can safely regain lift at slow speeds because only one wing stalls at a time. The high dihedral angle increases the rolling motion of the bird, so the opposite wing quickly regains lift, restoring stability. Turkey Vultures, Golden Eagles, and many seabirds also position their wings in this manner as it permits much greater stability in slow low-level flight.  The alternating stall and recovery of each wing causes the vulture's wings to tilt back and forth while it sails.

Northern Harrier 4-20131210

Northern Harrier 2-20131210


22 comments:

  1. Cool series on the Northern Harrier!

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  2. Beautiful landing shots on this beautiful bird!

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  3. Absolutely amazing images Ken!!! These are incredible action shots. And I love the covered gazebo on your trail/boardwalk!!

    Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.

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  4. These are fantastic! Congratulations! Gorgeous shots!

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  5. Hi Kenneth. That looks like a wonderful centre and great walkways. in the end you got magnificent shots go the Harrior. Glad you unlinked from google plus. I really don't know how it works. my I wish you a VERT HAPPY NEW YEAR and may 2014 be a god bird year with lots of surprises.

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  6. Excellent shots of this handsome bird! I wish you a Happy New Year!

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  7. Wonderful images... and a fantastic place to see.

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  8. stunning shots and great info given. Thank a lot.

    Wishing you a Happy New Year!

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  9. Great landing shots! I've got to get down there this winter for a visit. That harrier is still on my list to get.

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  10. Hallo Kenneth, Fantastic shots of this very nice bird bird! Happy New Year!
    Greetings Ben

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  11. Hi Kenneth. I was hoping to get in touch with you but couldn't find any contact info on your page. I hope you will email me back, I would love to chat. I have really enjoyed reading through you blog and looking at so many great photos! I look forward to your next post

    Thanks
    Ernie Allison
    ernie.allison63@gmail.com

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    1. Hi, Ernie,

      Thanks for dropping by!

      I just visited your g+ page, and a few of your contributions to other web sites. Although I have been a bird watcher longer than I can remember, you have such a refreshing point of view. Like you, I especially like to share birding experiences with others, from my late father to my grandchildren, and as an interpreter at a state park and the national forest service when we lived in New Mexico

      Best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year!

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    2. what a fabulous looking nature centre and wetlands location! Great to site that Northern Harrier - you got some super shots of it Ken

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  12. Hi, Ernie (I had to repeat this post because it came out in white font. If any reader can help me so that my individual replies show in black I will appreciate it.)

    Thanks for dropping by!

    I just visited your g+ page, and a few of your contributions to other web sites. Although I have been a bird watcher longer than I can remember, you have such a refreshing point of view. Like you, I especially like to share birding experiences with others, from my late father to my grandchildren, and as an interpreter at a state park and the national forest service when we lived in New Mexico

    Best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year!

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    1. I imagine it has to do with your template settings.

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  13. What wonderful photos! And, how nice of him to pose for you!

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  14. Beautiful series. Happy New Year.

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  15. Hi Ken, I am so glad you have gone back to the "regular" comment format! I just love these shots! Wow, such amazing in-flight captures! All the best to you and your family for 2014!

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  16. Great set of a pictures - I was watching, but not photographing, a different species - the swamp harrier - a few days ago.

    Thanks for all the comments and visits over the last year.

    Hope you have a good New Year.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne!

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  17. The images just got better and better, what a wonderful bird and a wonderful post

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  18. A great WBW post!
    Happy New Year to you!

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  19. Thank you, everyone for your visits and encouragement. I wish all of you the Happiest of all New Years and great Birding!! Sorry I cannot reply individually but still cannot seem to be able to put some color in the fonts.

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Thank you for visiting Rosyfinch Ramblings! I will enjoy a visit to your page just as soon as possible.