Raptors and other woodland animals (E23)

While not native to the area, this pine forest, planted by outside groups many years ago, is home to some really cool birds, specifically raptors. Some of the raptors that may be seen at Lapham Peak include great-horned owls, red-tailed hawks, kestrels, barred-owls as well as the threatened species of cooper’s hawks and red-shouldered hawks.

Great-horned owls have been known to nest nearby as have cooper’s hawks and red-tailed hawks. These raptors have been known to eat other birds, frogs, snakes, mice and other small mammals. Keep an eye out for owl pellets. A pellet is the mass of undigested parts of a bird's food that some bird species occasionally regurgitate. The contents of a bird's pellet depend on its diet, but can include the exoskeletons of insects, indigestible plant matter, bones, fur, feathers, bills, claws, and teeth.

Listen for the various calls and hoots of these birds as you walk the trail. Great-horned owls have a deep, soft, stuttering  h'HOO-hoo-hoo call. The barred owl’s call sounds like who cooks..who cooks…who cooks for us all. Red-tailed hawks have a hoarse kee-eeeee-arr. It lasts 2-3 seconds and is usually given while soaring. During courtship, they also make a shrill chwirk, sometimes giving several of these calls in a row.

In addition to raptors, many other creatures make their homes in these woods. Chipmunks, red squirrels, woodchucks, deer, turkeys, snakes and tree frogs have also been spotted.

Wild Turkey Strutting His Stuff!