I don't know enough about them to identify them. I get a bit kick out of watching them though.
The weather has been dismall the past three days. Yesterday, during a brief respite from downpours I stepped outside for some purpose or other than is now long forgotten. The reason it is forgotten (and was so immediately) is that the moment I stepped outside I couldn't help but notice the sound of an approaching avian ruckus. When the perps finally came into view it was a half-dozen crows chasing a bird of prey of one sort or another. They were squawking to beat the band and making that raptor's day miserable. They chased it right out of sight and earshot but I enjoyed every second I got to watch.
Just a moment ago I happened to peer out the window and two birds of prey were circling. They just floated around circling. In the two minutes or so they were visible the one on the higher patrol flapped it's wings precisely twice. The one on lower patrol flapped not at all while coming to what appeared a near standstill twice.
We have a nesting osprey pair nearby. They return from wherever it is they winter in mid-April. For several days they are very easy to find flying around as they go about repairing the nest. They'll take aim at the top of a tree and just swoop in and snatch off a piece of branch and haul it back to the nest. The osprey equivalent of the quick dash to Home Depot. The nest is atop an old, unused tower. From what little I've been able to discover re: osprey the tower is higher than they normally nest but it must be functional cause they come back to it every spring.
Osprey do most of their flying over water so one doesn't normally get to see them unless they are enroute to or from home or just hanging out on the tower. Once they have eggs apparently one or the other is always nearby. When the wind is right you get to see one just hanging out in midair right above the nest. They can just stay motionless in midair above the nest for minutes on end. In early fall last year it was a particular delight to watch to osprey offspring honing their flying skills. They were all over the place just climbing and diving and swooping around.
Oh well, sorry for the disruption. Please return to your regularly scheduled programming.
Bret Stephens: The meltdown
28 minutes ago