10-16-13 Bird Field Note

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10-16-13 Bird Field Note

October 16, 2013

The bird crew recounts the last weeks shrubby draw surveys, plus raptor and songbird banding efforts. Highlights include a Pacific Wren, a Lincoln Sparow, and a Merlin and Sharp-shinned Hawk caught within minutes of each other.

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10-11-13 Bird Field Note

Most October mornings begin with frost.

The frost transitions to dew drops that highlight the changing colors of fall foliage.

Adam emerges from the floodplain raptor blind to briefly enjoy the fall sunshine and cottonwood colors.

He pops the pigeon lure as a pair of rainbows migrate down the valley.

A Belted Kingfisher intently watches the water for signs of movement.

The last three weeks brought both our highest and lowest numbers of bird detections in the shrubby draws

Birds detected in shrubby draw surveys 9/22, 9/30, and 10/8/13

One of many Mountain Bluebirds migrating through western Montana right now.

American Goldfinches congregate near late sunflower blossoms on the draw edges. We are examining the goldfinch flocks for signs of the Lesser Goldfinch.

Though numbers decreased after last week’s high captures, high species diversity made for fewer captures.

The Ridge site consistently yields high numbers of Golden-crowned Kinglets.

The only Pacific Wren captured this season.

A Lincoln’s Sparrow is surprisingly colorful in the hand.

High pressure, seasonally average temperatures, and sunny skies replaced the storm system that brought record numbers of migrants last week.

A Sharp-shinned Hawk glides on a north wind with ease.

This week RVRI surpassed their fall 2012 capture total of 63 migrants; the 11 raptors banded brought this season’s total to 67.

This hatch-year Red-tailed Hawk was the third captured at the floodplain blind.

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10-14-13 Bird Field Note