09-16-14 Bird Field Note

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09-16-14 Bird Field Note

September 16, 2014

Eric Rasmussen's Bird Field Note shows Cooper's Hawks, Cedar Waxwings, and an array of migrating warblers.

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Bird Field Note Raptor Migration, Shrubby Draws, Songbird Banding Eric Rasmussen 9/15/2014

Migration is in full swing. We captured 241 birds across all site, including 94 birds on the floodplain, 86 birds at Sheep Camp, and 61 birds on West Baldy Ridge.

We also captured many sparrows in the genus Spizella . Chipping Sparrows made up the majority of Spizella captures, but we also saw a few Brewer’s and Clay-colored Sparrows.

In one morning on the floodplain, nearly half of the birds captured were Cedar Waxwings (19 of 41 birds).

Fall warblers present identification challenges. Upon first glance, the Nashville Warbler on the left looks similar to the Orange-crowned Warbler on the right.

We saw an increase in overall numbers and a large surge for several species. Chipping Sparrows surpassed Vesper Sparrows in numbers.

This Chipping Sparrow wears the bright red cap of an adult. We tend to see more juvenile than adult Chipping Sparrows during fall migration.

Ruby-crowned Kinglets (above) and White-crowned Sparrows (below) hide in the thick shrubs of Sheep Camp draw.

A Clark’s Nutcracker takes a long drink at the Sheep Camp water tank.

Yellow-rumped Warblers were numerous this week.

We started our fourth annual fall migration count this week. We counted relatively few migrants each day which is expected this early in the season.

At a distance, tapered, pointed wings and a two-toned underside identify a Swainson’s Hawk (above). The Broad-winged Hawk (below) exhibits a lighter underside and has shorter, stockier wings with a short, banded tail.

An immature Red-tailed Hawk shows a brown, tightly banded tail and light “windows” under the wing tips.

We captured four Sharp-shinned Hawks and two Cooper’s Hawks this week on West Baldy Ridge.

We caught a female Cooper’s Hawk (left) and female Sharp-shinned Hawk (right) within the span of a few minutes.