Osprey - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
In the last couple of weeks I have observed several varieties of raptors in my travels in the Palouse. I saw the osprey at the top of this post while photographing a fly fishing trip on the Grande Ronde River in eastern Washington. The bald eagle in the picture below was observed near Asotin, WA. Bald eagles are not as plentiful in the Palouse as they are in western Washington so I was happy to spot this one.
Bald Eagle - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
In the final images is a juvenile red tailed hawk that I saw just to the east of Cheney, WA. If you are interested in photographing raptors there are several varieties that can be seen throughout the Palouse. I keep my eyes open and my camera on the seat next to me so that I am ready if I observe one of these graceful, powerful birds.
Red Tailed Hawk 1 - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
Red Tailed Hawk 2 - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
It is necessary to keep a watchful eye as you travel the Palouse country. Many times you are so involved in taking in the beautiful scenery that you miss some of the birds and other wildlife that is abundant.
On a recent trip to the Steptoe Butte area just north of Colfax, I was intent on getting to a high vantage point to observe the final light of the sun as it was preparing to bathe the landscape of rolling hills and valleys in the lowlands below. As I came around a corner on the road up to the state park I spotted the red-tailed hawk that is pictured below.
Red-tailed Hawk (buteo jamaicensis) by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
He was very intent in watching the fields below him as he perched on a ridge in the wheat field searching for any movement that might signal some prey for his supper. He did not give me much attention as I captured his image from my car window.
As I parked my car in one of my favorites spots to capture the last rays of the sun, I heard the loud trill of a bird just over the edge of the hill on some rocks. I was treated to the view of a rock wren that was enjoying bathing in the last light of the day. In the image below, it is obvious how well this species blends in with its environment.
Rock Wren (salpinctes obsoletus) by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
As the sun set on the landscape and I descended the butte in the twilight, I was once again reminded of the beauty that is both in the landscape as well the wildlife that inhabits this region.
While visiting and shooting in the Palouse, you will have many opportunities for photographing wildlife. While I was visiting Palouse Falls State Park yesterday, I was treated to views of several species of birds and animals. Most were visible from my car window as I was traveling to the falls.
Looking Around by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
In the state park there are several marmots that reside year round on the cliffs that overlook the canyon. The one in the photo above was very inquisitive and seemed to enjoy the sunshine on a cold winter day.
As I left the park I spotted this red-tailed hawk sitting on a fence post and was able to photograph it from my car window. Throughout the day as I headed to Colfax, I saw mule deer, white-tailed deer and a coyote from the highway.
Red-tailed Hawk by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
As you can see, a trip to the Palouse not only provides scenic landscapes but the wildlife is plentiful and accessible for capturing images.