Visit by Pacific Baza

Last Monday I spotted a bird at my place that I had never seen before – the Pacific Baza, also known as a Crested Hawk.

There were actually two of these birds, but I didn’t know what they were until I looked them up.

I had heard some goings-on from a group of Noisy Miner birds at the bottom of my property and since it went on  and on for ages, I stepped outside to see if I could see what the problem was. I saw two large birds flying between the gum trees, then they flew over my place and landed in the trees next door. I grabbed my camera from inside and standing at the boundary fence had to zoom in on them because they were too far away to see properly.

Here are my three best photos of one of the birds. Click on an image to enlarge for best viewing and to see that it is has a meal in its talons.

This bird was easy to identify because of its striking markings and that big crest on its head. What a great looking raptor!

The two hawks were diving out of the trees to almost ground level (hard to see from where I was), likely swooping on prey on the ground or on the little hills covered in vegetation at the neighbour’s place. Then they would fly back up and land on a high branch and eat something small, possibly a lizard or frog or large insect.

I was able to get this video of one of the birds eating something. It’s a little dark at  first, but it lightens up after a bit. About half way through the video, you can hear the high pitch calls of another Pacific Baza.

Seeing these Pacific Bazas was amazing, and another first for me in my bird sightings. I was really happy to spot a new bird I hadn’t seen before and be able to watch them fly, catch prey, eat, and hear their calls.

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