Two Hours
at Jo Hays Vista
Oct. 27, 2013

Jo Hays Vista on Tussey Mountain, State College, in central Pennsylvania, can be surprising productive as a fall hawk watch site. During the previous Thursday, a mere two hours of viewing (or a long lunch break) resulted in wonderful viewing.

Kestrels (small falcons) tend to zigzag while migrating, so I was lucky to capture this guy in my lens.

Male kestrel
  A little later, two Cooper's hawks flew by. This is the first one, a mature guy or gal.
Adult Cooper's hawk
  The happy surprise of the day was in seeing two juvenile bald eagles approaching together ("juvenile" means that they were born this year).

One apparently thought it was getting too far ahead of the other (its sibling?), and so did a wide loop to let the second catch up.

Juvenile bald eagle turning
  The following photo gives a general idea on how close the two eagles were flying to each other (with the turning eagle in the lower-right-hand corner). Generally, eagles seem to give a lot of space to one another, and "close together" might mean being 10 minutes apart, in terms of flying time.
Two juvenile bald eagles flying together
  The second juvenile eagle flew directly overhead (while eyeballing me).
The second juvenile bald eagle
  One of the sixteen red-tailed hawks that flew over during the two-hour watch.
Red-tailed hawk staring
  About a half-hour after the two juvenile bald eagles passed by, a four-year-old bald eagle (that is, a Basic 4, in bald eagle terminology) came over Jo Hays.
Four-year-old bald eagle
  A four-year-old still has some dark feathers around a mostly white head.

Meanwhile, down below in State College, the weather was closing in, and there were period of sleet.

State College in mist and sleet
  No sleet on top of Jo Hays, but there were occasional snow flurries.

All in all, a very good two-hour watch with plenty to see.

Photo note: I used a Pentax K20D, with the Sigma 150-500mm lens, on October 24, 2013, at Jo Hays Vista on Tussey Mountain, State College, Pennsylvania, for these photos.

My Pennsylvania bird list   ||   Jo Hays from 2012

Look Out!   |   Contact