Nearly seven years ago, I was hiking in Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and came across a bird of prey that had killed a kingfisher and was eating it. The bird grabbed some of the kingfisher and flew to the top of a utility pool. I took a long range photo into the sun but could not identify it. You can read about the encounter here.
Fast forward seven years. About a week ago, I've gotten involved in the Virginia Wildlife Mapping Project as a volunteer, and as part of this, you post your wildlife photos along with some data about each observation, including where they were taken. You state what you have identified the animal as. Then others have the chance to confirm your identification.
In the case of the bird of prey, I finally decided that it must be a red-tailed hawk. But two other naturalists came forward and said, no, what I saw was a peregrine falcon!
So how cool is that - to have seen the rare peregrine falcon just after it successfully hunted? I've blown up the photo I took digitally - it is very grainy but it is the best I have to share of the encounter:
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11 months ago