Raptor Workshop at the Academy of Natural Sciences


mature female Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis). Photo taken by Donna L. Long
mature female Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis). Photo taken by Donna L. Long

Seeing a raptor close-up? How could I resist? Last Wednesday, I went to the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia to a “Migrating Raptors Identification” workshop.

Raptor Wanted: Alive or Dead

It was the one of the coolest workshops I had ever attended. Not only did we get to see live raptors close up but also dead ones.  Hawks, Falcons and Vultures who had slammed in to windows or hit by cars, We studied by the workshop participants. We treated the deceased birds with the utmost respect.

Before we saw the live birds, we were able to examine the wings, feet, markings and size of the dead birds. It gave me an understanding of the field marks that I see on the live birds.

Photo Galleries

Below are some of the photos I took of the birds, some dead, some alive. I didn’t include anything too gruesome. Okay, one foot of a Red-tailed Hawk is a bit icky, but the photo was too educational to leave out. But, we can learn so much by just looking.

And Some Live Birds

Looking Up Close

Most of the time I see these birds from a great distance. Usually I’m on the ground watching a large silhouette in the sky. I particularly liked seeing the Red-tailed Hawk. There are many circling in the sky in the Philadelphia area.

If you ever get a chance to attend a workshop like this, take it. It’s is a rare but highly educational experience.


More Information on Birds of Prey

Bird of Prey Facts – What Makes a Raptor, a Raptor?

Fall Raptor Migration: What You Need to Know (with video)

Identifying Birds of Prey: Books to Help You

Keeping a Life List or Birder’s Journal

We're Listening

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.