04-21-15 Bird Field Note

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04-21-15 Bird Field Note

April 21, 2015

Eric Rasmussen's bird field note details osprey nesting, raptor migration counts, and returning curlews and house wrens.

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Serviceberry bloom in warm draws.

One of the first House Wrens reported in the state this year appeared in the Clubhouse Floodplain.

American Goldfinches come into their breeding plumage.

Canada Geese pair up and mark their territories with loud honking and periodic chasing of other geese in the area.

A pair of Barrow’s Goldeneye’s take up residence in the expanded Clubhouse Pond.

Kate Stone saw the first re-sighting of a leg-banded Long-billed Curlew, “CJ”, foraging between Sheep Camp and Tongue Creek. No transmitter was visible. It may be covered by feathers, explaining why location signals are intermittent.

This week we saw an increase in the number of passing Accipiters and American Kestrels, while Red-tailed Hawks and Turkey Vultures continued to pass by in relatively high numbers. Eagle numbers dropped, and we expect the numbers of Rough-legged Hawks, another earlyseason migrant, to follow suit in coming weeks.

Two of eight Golden Eagles wearing GPS satellite transmitters are still traveling north. Both birds are currently in Alaska. The individual in red reached the southern extent of the Brooks Range; because this is our first season tracking him, we do not know where he will ultimately settle. The individual in orange was captured in the winter of 2013/2014 as a sub-adult male. He spent last summer roaming from the southernmost portion of Alaska all the way north of the Brooks Range, and into the northernmost portions of the Yukon Territory of Alaska.

All Four adult Osprey returned to their nests along the Bitterroot River, while all three younger Osprey (marked in white, green, and cyan) remain on their winter grounds. Scooter (pink), the male from the Ranch Entrance Nest, left his wintering grounds April 1, and arrived on the MPG Ranch April 6. Egbert (red) and Olive (blue) both left their wintering grounds April 6, and reached their North Center Pivot Nest April 14. Helen (yellow) left her winter grounds April 8, and arrived at her nest on the Sapphire Ranch April 13.

Egbert (left) and Olive (right) rest on the North Center Pivot Nest, where they unsuccessfully nested last year. Despite wintering ~500 miles away from each other, Egbert and Olive headed north on the same day, and arrived at their nest ~12 hours apart from each other.

Shooting Stars (above) and Yellowbells (below) bloom at our raptor migration site.

Previous Field Note

04-14-15 Bird Field Note