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Galen Frantz

Please confirm northern harrier

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Photographed at Brushy Peak Regional Preserve, Livermore, CA March 2016.  Showed typical harrier behavior, cruising near ground going after ground squirrels.

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Great to see that you are birding at Brushy Peak - good spot! Good for Common Ravens, Golden Eagles, Loggerhead Shrikes, Kestrels, Great Horned Owls, I have even had Prairie Falcon and Burrowing Owls.

I do a lot of birding in the Livermore Valley and Altamont Pass area (I work in Livermore, but live closer to the SF Bay, fairly long commute but its reverse so traffic isn't bad), so @Galen Frantz if you need hints for spots to look for birds, I am happy to oblige. Lots of good winter birds still in the area, although I feel like there are fewer Ferruginous Hawks now than a month ago, perhaps they are gradually starting to leave. I've got spots for all the Livermore area goodies though, Lewis's Woodpecker, Yellow-billed Magpie, California Thrasher, Phainopepla on Mines Road, Mountain Bluebirds and Ferruginous Hawks on Patterson Pass Road, I even had a Rough-legged Hawk on Altamont Pass Road this winter that may still be in the area.

Edited by AlexHenry

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I worked in the area between Fresno and Brentwood between spring 2015 and fall 2017.  Sadly, the client discontinued the service, so I have not had a good excuse to get back out to CA since then.  I will be taking an Alaska cruise this May, and will be looking for all those good West Coast birds while at sea and on shore excursions.  In the meantime, my camera and binocs are my traveling buddies here at home in FL and on the road wherever.

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3 hours ago, Galen Frantz said:

I worked in the area between Fresno and Brentwood between spring 2015 and fall 2017.  Sadly, the client discontinued the service, so I have not had a good excuse to get back out to CA since then.  I will be taking an Alaska cruise this May, and will be looking for all those good West Coast birds while at sea and on shore excursions.  In the meantime, my camera and binocs are my traveling buddies here at home in FL and on the road wherever.

Oops sorry didn't see the date that said March 2016.

Ah you live in Florida now, so I'm sure you have some pretty interesting nature and birds around! Good luck in Alaska. 

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8 hours ago, Galen Frantz said:

I worked in the area between Fresno and Brentwood between spring 2015 and fall 2017.  Sadly, the client discontinued the service, so I have not had a good excuse to get back out to CA since then.  I will be taking an Alaska cruise this May, and will be looking for all those good West Coast birds while at sea and on shore excursions.  In the meantime, my camera and binocs are my traveling buddies here at home in FL and on the road wherever.

Alaska is the only cruise my Darling Bride and I have ever had any interest in taking.  Maybe one day.

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I have gotten a bit gun-shy after years of working with thrips.  I have used dichotomous keys since high school.  Yet after running unfamiliar species through a key and feeling pretty confident about the results, I have been surprised a few times when I submitted a voucher specimen to another expert.  So I like to get confirmation on the identity of a bird that I have identified from a photograph taken a few years ago in a location that I am unfamiliar with and where I do not have easy access for repeated observations.  

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