This weekend is the Lake Erie Raptor Symposium, hosted by the Black Swamp Bird Observatory and the Ohio Ornithological Society. We've got a full house, looks like the weather should be decent, and there'll be some outstanding speakers, led by raptor guru Brian Wheeler.
We'll also have expeditions to look for real, wild raptors. The last weekend in September is normally peak for diversity of species around the western end of Lake Erie. Judging from hawk-watching reports from Texas, though, most of the Broad-winged Hawks have already moved along. If we see the above species, it'll forever cement this event in people's minds.
Likewise, this species would be equally stupendous, but one can hope.
A closer look at the goggle-eyed beauty. That will never appear in Ohio. But one should never say never, as they say.
This one is a bit more likely - guaranteed, in fact.
But probably not this subspecies. This Red-tailed Hawk was photographed last February in San Isidro, Costa Rica. The birds down there are a gorgeous form, richly tinted with chestnut.
And I was cheating on the others. The top bird is a Common Black Hawk, and the other bird is a Roadside Hawk, also shot last February in Costa Rica. Who knows, though - with all of those eyes directed skyward, something good might be founds. I'd settle for a Swainson's Hawk, though, as would most of us I suspect.
Look forward to seeing everyone this weekend.