04-19-13 Field Note

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04-19-13 Field Note

April 22, 2013

Kate Stone's Field Note shows ospreys and long-eared owls nesting, plus signs of spring durring a cold snap.

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Kate Stone Field Note 4/19/13

13 American robins, dark-eyed juncos, and spotted towhees continue to dominate shrubby draw sampling.

We see more chipmunks than birds in many parts of the shrubby draws.

Debbie and I conduct pre-dawn bird surveys on the floodplain and on the Mt. Baldy ridge to correlate birds we detect on the ground with those recorded on our acoustic monitors overnight.

We detect very few birds either on the acoustic monitors or in our predawn surveys.

Cold temperatures froze several of the floodplain sloughs.

Frozen slew

In between singing bouts, this western meadowlark hunkers down against the 15 °F temperature on the floodplain.


This beaver tail-slapped the water before swimming downstream, surprising a Canada goose.

Mice and geese make use of the river’s sandy beaches.

beaches. This young red-tailed hawk didn’t make it through the winter.

Several pairs of American kestrels returned to the ranch, including this unbanded pair in North Sheep Camp draw.

Black-capped chickadees glean food from emerging leaf buds.

Black-capped chickadees glean food from emerging leaf buds.2

A small snake spine found under a hawthorne.


The mud-walled interior of a black-billed magpie nest.

I found three long-eared owl nests with incubating females. This owl sat on an old magpie nest in one of our shrubby draws.

I found the nest in a black hawthorn. The male roosted 20 m away in another hawthorn clump.

clump. This long-eared owl used a grassy squirrel nest in a dense Douglas-fir stand near the rock quarry.

The Tongue Creek long-eared owl used a stick nest, likely made by an accipiter hawk.

hawk. Tongue Creek long-eared owl nest with incubating female.

Our remote cameras picked up western screech owls visiting Davis Creek over many nights in the winter. The detections span a 2-mile stretch of the creek and some are located near the spot where we recorded them singing on our acoustic monitors. Photos and map provided by Alan Ramsey.

Owls gone wild.

The osprey cameras revealed plenty of drama this week. An unknown pair of osprey occupy the Northern Center Pivot platform. We’ve witnessed several copulations. The known male from this nest is still in Utah.

The male at the Entrance Gate nest enjoyed the company of an unknown female for a week.

week. The unknown female disappeared with the arrival of the female from last year on 4/19. The pair quickly resumed their relationship after a winter apart.

We continue to see new plants emerge.


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