05-06-14 Bird Field Note

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05-06-14 Bird Field Note

May 6, 2014

Kate Stone's Bird Field Note shows a nesting Long-eared Owl, a fledged Clark's Nutcracker, and a resident Golden Eagle.

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Kate Stone Bird Field Note 5/2/2014

A new Long-eared Owl nests in a stick nest used in 2010. We now have three nests and two suspected breeding areas. We will do a last round of night surveys in the next week.

American Robins help in the fight against tent caterpillars in the treated grasslands.

Robin flocks continue to make up a large proportion of spring migrants in the draws.

House Wrens returned in abundance.

abundance. We also saw numerous Yellow-rumped and Orange-crowned Warblers, as well as a handful of Nashville Warblers.

Black-billed Magpies nest early and lay large clutches.

Common Ravens nest in this mistletoe clump near West Baldy Ridge.

Instead of pairs of curlews, I started to see lone curlews, which suggests incubation. Both males and females incubate.

The Clark’s Nutcracker baby fledged this week.

Adam Shreading reported more than 40 American Avocets on the floodplain. I searched for them but only saw this Green-winged Teal.

Nesting Killdeer make quiet approaches to the floodplain impossible.

Most Bald Eagle nests hatched in the past week. I still can’t see the young in the nest across the river. High water may prevent observation in the next few weeks.

Weather conditions hampered raptor counts this week. Gusty winds and mountain precipitation started the week. A warm high pressure system with cloudless skies ended it. Raptors may have migrated with the warm weather, but flew far overhead. Our high count for the week (53) occurred with the transition from cold to warm weather, when clouds provided a backdrop. Accipiters still move strong. We saw a few immature birds, and will likely see more, as adults have already arrived on breeding grounds. Highlights included late season Rough-legged Hawks, two Swainson’s Hawks, and all four falcon species. Next week’s forecast calls for average temperatures with partly cloudy skies. We should see a surge of young accipiters following the incoming passerine migrants.

A resident Golden Eagle flies out of Whaley Draw most mornings.

An immature Red-tailed Hawk checks out the owl decoy. The “windows” in the wings are distinct when backlit.

moth on flowers

Previous Field Note

05-02-14 Bird Field Note