Sunday, April 05, 2009

More Spring beauty

As I was watching a large soaring accipiter today, trying to decide if it was a Cooper's Hawk or a Goshawk, I noticed the colorful partial ring around the sun. According to the books that ring is caused by ice crystals in high thin cirrus clouds, and also according to the books, the circling hawk was a Cooper's. Apparently a Goshawk (which I have still not seen here in my home county) has a shorter tail in proportion to the size of the wings. The action in my backyard today included a visit by two White-crowned Sparrows. If the illustrations in the books are correct, this is the Pugetensis subspecies that breeds in this coastal area west of the Cascade Mts.


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