01 January 2009

2009.01 Desktop Calendar

Bud Anderson's raptor banding location at Entiat Ridge was, for years, one of the best places to see raptors up-close. The expertise, the birds, the location, it was all a wonderful learning experience.

On one of those day-long expeditions, I was given the exquisite privilege of releasing a merlin back to its native skies. Cradling this later rendition of the dinosaurs in shaky hands, for about two minutes both of our hearts were beating like Tito Puente conga drums in an excited cha-cha.

Then, with a quick wingflit and nary a look back, the merlin was airborne and gone.

The photo here, which would look great on your computer's desktop screen, was taken about an hour earlier, a Sharp-shinned Hawk in the same situation with another visitor. Perhaps it is getting used to having new jewelry on its leg, or simply enjoying a silent moment before returning to the path that intersected ours for such a brief time.

Please feel free to download this photo for personal use on your computer's desktop. To download, just click once on the image, which will bring up the enlarged image on a new webpage. Then, right-click on the image and follow your operating system's instructions for pictures / images.

I hope you enjoy :)

[edited later to add:] I've been told the hand belongs to Sharon Ross... Thank you, Sharon, for the moment :)

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