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Raptors

Young bald eagles are a common sight at Willapa National Wildlife Refuge/Photo Courtesy of Dr. Madeline Kalbach

Raptors have sharp, curved beaks and strong feet and talons with which to catch and eat their prey. This group of birds includes osprey, falcons, eagles and hawks. Look for raptors throughout the refuge, including fields, forests, bay and beaches.

  • American Kestral

    The rusty and bluish-grey markings of the kestral help to distinguish this small falcon from other refuge raptors/Photo Courtesy of Dr. Madeline Kalbach

    This small, brightly colored falcon can be seen perched on power lines along roadways and fields. Kestrals are often seen hovering before they strike their prey of insects or small mammals.

    Discover more about these small falcons...

  • Bald Eagle

    The adult bald eagle has a large bill and a white head/Photo Courtesy of Dr. Madeline Kalbach

    Willapa NWR is home to many bald eagles. Look for these large raptors on the ocean beach or perched in tall trees near the bay. It takes four years for the splotchy brown young to develop the white head and tails of adult birds.

    Find out more about bald eagles...

  • Northern Harrier

    The northern harrier has a white rump and upturned wings/Photo Courtesy of Dr. Madeline Kalbach

    Unusually among the refuge’s raptors, the northern harrier has an owl-like roundish head. Look for its slow, rocky flight low above salt marsh, fields and dunes. Females are large and brown, males are smaller and grey. Both sexes have a long tail with a white rump.

    Read more about northern harriers...

  • Osprey

    Osprey built large stick nests throughout the refuge/Photo Courtesy of Dr. Madeline Kalbach

    Sometimes called “fish hawks”, osprey primarily feed on fish. They have reversible outer toes and scalely feet that help them grasp and hold fish. Osprey winter in Mexico and southern California, and breed here at the refuge. Look for large, conspicuous nests on power poles, platforms and dead trees. Listen for their loud series of kyew calls.

    Uncover more about osprey...

  • Merlin

    Merlin are mid-sized brown falcons/USFWS Photo

    This mid-sized falcon packs a punch! It hunts for shorebirds and songbirds during the fall, winter and spring months.

    Learn more about this pint-sized predator...

  • Peregrine Falcon

    The peregrine falcon has a dark helmet/Photo Courtesy of Dr. Madeline Kalbach

    This large falcon sports a dark helmet. Known as one of the world’s fastest birds, the Peregrine falcon is frequently seen feeding on the refuge’s shorebirds and ducks.

    Discover more about Peregrine falcons...

  • Red-tailed Hawk

    Red-tailed hawks are a common site throughout the refuge/Photo Courtesy of Dr. Madeline Kalbach

    Red-tailed hawks are a common sight around the refuge. Its dark belly band and red tail are easily recognizable features of this stout hawk.

    Find out more about Refuge red-tails...

  • Sharp-shinned Hawk

    The sharp-shinned hawk hunts small forest birds/Photo Courtesy of Dr. Madeline Kalbach

    A bird of the forest and backyards, the sharp-skinned hawk has short, rounded wings and a long tail that help it maneuver in tight places.

    Uncover how this small hawk preys on other birds...

Page Photo Credits — Immature bald eagles - ©Dr. Madeline Kalbach, Bald eagle - © Dr. Madeline Kalbach, American kestral - ©Dr. Madeline Kalbach, Northern harrier - ©Dr. Madeline Kalbach, Peregrine falcon - ©Dr. Madeline Kalbach, Red-tailed hawk - ©Dr. Madeline Kalbach, Sharp-shinned hawk - ©Dr. Madeline Kalbach, Merlin - USFWS
Last Updated: Apr 14, 2014
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