Range Tracking

South ORCA Scrub Walk 020715

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Photos from the FMEL-ORCA conservation stewardship class walk through the overgrown South ORCA scrub on Saturday afternoon, 7 February 2015. I did not hold out much hope of seeing birds, which kept the class focus on the plants, but was happily surprised to see this Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus [Coragyps, “raven vulture” in Greek; stratus, dressed for mourning]) perched atop a dead tree trunk. Note the gaping hole in the trunk, most likely caused by a Woodpecker cavity rotting out.
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The class heads down Oslo Road toward the South ORCA trailhead. The Oslo Road boat ramp and the Indian River Lagoon are far down at the end of the road.
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Hiking through the scrub.
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A Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura [Cathartes, Latin from Greek, purifier of its surroundings; aura, gold, golden]) wings by overhead.
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The late afternoon Sun gave a fiery glow for a brief moment to the Turkey Vulture’s feathers.
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A pair of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus [Haliaeetus, Greek for “sea eagle”; leucocephalus, Greek for “white-headed]) have been nesting back in the South ORCA scrub for years but did not do so last year. It was a surprise to see an Eagle, circled, in the nest.
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The Eagle stayed in the nest for the longest time until two more Eagles showed up causing the Eagle in the nest to fly out and join them.
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With three Eagles airborne and flying around the area, I hoped that at least one would end up in good lighting leading to a decent picture but they all disappointed me by staying mostly silhouetted in the western sky.
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One of the Eagles returned to perch near the nest, which can be seen as the black bulk in the pine tree.

Learn more about ORCA.

2 comments

  1. Pingback: Spectacular Day for a Scrub Walk | Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area

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