West Seattle wildlife: Raptor and raccoons

Two West Seattle wildlife photos to share tonight – first, received a little while ago from contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli, a young bird he identifies as a juvenile bald eagle (commenters ID it as a hawk): “I just spotted this guy sunning himself on a utility wire over my alley near the Junction.”

Next, Alki photographer David Hutchinson spotted these two baby raccoons on the beach earlier this week:

Thanks to everyone who shares photos with the community via WSB – along with sharing by e-mail, you’re also welcome to contribute to the WSB Flickr group any time!

21 Replies to "West Seattle wildlife: Raptor and raccoons"

  • Sonoma August 24, 2012 (8:26 pm)

    I love the nauture photos on this blog! Has anyone seen the Lincoln Park eagle family lately?

  • Jim Clark August 24, 2012 (8:33 pm)

    definately not an eagle my guess a sharped skin hawk

  • Christopher Boffoli August 24, 2012 (8:57 pm)

    He looked enough like a all of the juvenile eagle images I pulled up on Google Images search to convince me. But I wasn’t sure if the time of year would be right for young eagles. With all of the great bird people we seem to have in West Seattle I figured someone might step up and positively identify this guy.

  • LSz August 24, 2012 (9:09 pm)

    We saw the bird too, while walking the dog. Didn’t know what kind of bird it was.

  • Visitor August 24, 2012 (9:38 pm)

    Coopers Hawk. Bald Eagle fledglings are actually larger than adults when they leave the nest. Longer feathers to help with learning to fly and heavier cause hey they’ve been sitting in the nest eating for three months.

  • Christopher Boffoli August 24, 2012 (9:42 pm)

    These are apparently juvenile bald eagles too:



    On closer inspection though, my guy’s beak looks shorter.

  • westseattledood August 24, 2012 (9:53 pm)

    That is a sharp-shinned hawk. Cooper’s have similar long narrow tails (eagles are shorter and wide) but it is the tip of the narrow banded tails which distinguish Coops from SS. This is straight along the bottom and that confirms SS. Coops have rounded tails.

    It is likely migrating south for the winter and stopped over to look for food (song birds are their fave); normally sharp-shinned would not be out in the open on wires or poles, like a red tail hawk would do. SS and Coopers hawks are both masters of forested hunting amidst tree canopies – hence, the functional narrow tail.

    This begins the migration season so keep keeping your eyes upward…cool stuff to be observed.

  • Christopher Boffoli August 24, 2012 (9:58 pm)

    Thanks Visitor and westseattledood. It was a gorgeous bird. Smart too. I wasn’t that close to it. But when it saw me with the camera it didn’t like it. Fortunately, it didn’t fly away though. Just bobbed and shuffled down the wire, which worked in my favor as he shuffled into better light.

  • thegodshavegonecrazy August 24, 2012 (10:22 pm)

    I know there are tons of racoon-bashers out there, but for cryin’ out loud, you gotta admit they’re cuter than a bug’s ear, haha!

  • MMB August 24, 2012 (10:28 pm)

    No no no no no, not an eagle, but a very nice pic of an accipiter. People better than I can decide sharp-shinned or Cooper’s hawk, as it’s very hard to tell those two apart.

  • Rick August 25, 2012 (8:16 am)

    After last nights game I’d give it an honorary Seahawk title.

  • miws August 25, 2012 (8:37 am)

    But when it saw me with the camera it didn’t like it.


    Christopher, maybe he was just having a bad day! ;-)



  • Yikes August 25, 2012 (9:02 am)

    What is the best way to have raccoons on your property euthanized? Will animal control for the city come out and trap them and get rid of them?

    • WSB August 25, 2012 (10:44 am)


  • star 55 August 25, 2012 (10:47 am)

    That same looking bird is in my backyard. Just got a couple pictures of him and he flew off. Came right back and sat in the sun. Beautiful.

  • HT August 25, 2012 (3:03 pm)

    WSB wins for the best. Most succinct comment. Absolutely perfect. It made me do an honest-to-god spit take.

  • Peggy August 26, 2012 (6:05 pm)

    Bird photo an adult sharp shinned hawk, accipiter straitus.
    Beautiful picture. Note red eye and dark plumage of the adult.

  • Paul Nedervelt August 27, 2012 (9:11 am)

    Lately there seems to be lots of debate regarding cooper and sharp shinned hawks. Cornell University has excellent information regarding bird identification. Here is the link for coopers and sharp shinned hawks. http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/AboutBirdsandFeeding/accipiterIDtable.htm

  • WS commuter August 27, 2012 (10:13 am)

    Maybe its just me, but it seems like there fewer racoons in our area (Schmitz Park) since the coyotes showed up …

    Circle of life, and all that …

  • Katherine M August 29, 2012 (12:31 pm)

    If you don’t think you like raccoons it’s because you simply don’t know and understand them. Amazing animals, the most intelligent I have ever worked with!

Sorry, comment time is over.