Last evening at the Greenwood Senior Center (Seattle), before a great flock of birders, Sergio Siepke shared his wealth of raptor knowledge with beautiful photos from his many jaunts around the world - the latest being to Australia (as guide through his Raptours, LLC company).
One of their luckiest finds on this group trip was the Letter Winged Kite, with its striking, very large golden eyes. What a beautiful bird!! On another tour in Nepal, with the Annapurna Himalayas in the background, Sergio described having a White Rumped Vulture (sorry if I got the bird wrong here) fly by at eye level!!
There were also amazing birds from his native Argentina, like the charming Spot-winged Falconet and so many others from Chile and Ecuador.
Many of Sergio's beautiful images displayed the shared similar common field marks of species we are familiar with in the NW. Having taken Bud Anderson's (FRG.org) Raptor Class really helped me keep up with what Sergio was telling us about - well, sorta. It was helpful to have a bit of "raptor terminology" under my belt. But seeing so many amazing species through Sergio's enthusiastic eyes only stirred my desire to learn and see more. (If I only liked to fly!)
With his humor and energy, it was both an entertaining and "rapturous" talk. It was great to see so many from Bud Anderson's Raptor class(es) in attendance along with many of his raptor cohorts. Being in a room with so many intrepid raptor whisperers perched about the room (all so humble) was fun to see. They too are getting easier to identify from across a crowded field.
I do hope this is a temptation for all to attend one of Sergio's generous presentations remaining while he's still here. (FYI - He'll be at Padilla Bay today at 1pm and then at Bellingham Public Library at 7pm). I was (we all were) so lucky and grateful to have him here, just a few minutes from home. Thanks to Bud for such thoughtul planning to introduce us all to Sergio - "one of the leading hawk guys on the planet" -
(Bud's comment). And of course, many thanks to you Sergio!!
Caryn / Wedgwood
PS - Who brought that amazing popcorn!! Please tell me where to find some...Thanks to you too!