As seen, and tentatively identified via Peterson’s, digital version…
This pair of “Mexican Eagles,“ as I was a pretty sure there was a mate, but I think I’ve spotted this pair before. This one was perched, resting for a moment, on a power-line pole, and just as he (she) lifted off, I managed to snag my phone out of my pocket.
One evening a few weeks back, one of these birds was on pole in my street.
In the dusky twilight, I couldn’t make out all the markings as it squawked at me, then took wing again. But the other morning, I did get a clear image.
“Mexican Eagles,” and best guess is the same pair I’ve spotted before.
I texted the image to Sister in CA, and she thought the birds were out of their area. No, as it turns out, this is part of the big birds normal wandering zone. Probably head south in the winter. Might hang around if it is a mild winter, and there is a food source.
While nominally a raptor, the Crested Caracara is a close ally of vultures, in what I would call an “Opportunistic eater,” preferring game but willing to feast on carrion — you know — as need be.
Pretty expansive bird, with some huge claws at the end of — what seemed like — long legs.
I might be way off — herding birds is not my avocation, but as a patient observer of the natural world, I do have that fascination. Pretty sure I saw this same pair in a highway verge, bit north of town, best guess they were hunting up a bite to eat. Huge birds.