Hi Matt - those feet look like they belong to an American
Coot to me.
Subject: [IBLE] Close Encounters with Goshawks at Fort Boise
This morning my wife and I went out to
Fort Boise WMA to see
the Snow Geese, as well as anything that might be
hanging around the Fort. We headed out early, and
arrived in Parma as
the sun broke through the early morning clouds.
The Greater White-fronted Geese filled the fields just
before the turn-off
to Fort Boise, which was a great start.
The third bird we saw
after we entered the WMA was a juvenile Northern Shrike,
likely the one Bob
Kiernan photographed about two weeks ago.
It was in a tree right off the road, providing a very
clear view. The day was shaping up well.
It was 0815 and the sun
was shining, so we decided to take a walk downriver and
see what was up and
about. My wife had never heard
Goldeneyes on the wing, so we spent a bit of time by the
river, waiting on them
to fly by. We meandered on through the
tall brush, enjoying the Song Sparrows and other friends
hitting a dead end on the trail, we headed back to the
car. Even though our main objective was to see the
Snow Geese, my secret objective was to see the Goshawk
that had been previously
sited here because I’d never seen one (not for lack of
trying, I assure
As we walked along the
road, we were suddenly surprised by a big gray bird that
exploded from under a
tree. A Goshawk! It was clutching
something in its talons as it headed into a wall of
heavy brush. After picking up my jaw from the ground, I
decided to try to find it. Just then,
another raptor alit in a tree not far from where the
Goshawk disappeared. It took me a bit, but I realized
it was a
juvenile Goshawk, waiting to share in the meal.
I retreated as it lit out across the river.
Instead of trying to find
the adult, I thought it would be interesting to see what
it had been feeding
on. My wife and I searched under the
brush and found the kill site: it was
littered with feathers, but also 2 long bloody legs with
large talons. I’d figured it had caught a dove until I
those. So I have no idea what it was
feeding on and I am posting a picture of those talons so
that an expert can ID
After that, we went out to
the road and spent the next few hours watching the Snow
Goose Show. A great day of birding, indeed. Here's a
link to the other birds I saw: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S17166534