10-25-13 Bird Field Note

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10-25-13 Bird Field Note

October 25, 2013

This weeks Bird Field Note shows a northern pygmy owl, a stellar jay, and a northern harrier hawk.

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Bird Field Note Eric Rasmussen 10/21/13

The last week of the banding season brought low numbers, with ruby-crowned and goldencrowned kinglets dominating captures. Surprisingly, the crew still caught a few warblers.

Black-capped chickadee The Avian Science Center caught their first Stellar’s Jay. This individual had unusual white plumage on its head and throat.

Townsend’s solitaires display light crescents on the wing and a white eye ring.

The first half of the week brought good numbers with cloudy skies and north winds. We had two days over 100. American kestrels, accipiters, red-tailed hawks, and eagles were the top migrants. High pressure and sunny skies settled into our region on 10/15. The count then dropped significantly, with rough-legged, red-tailed, and sharp-shinned hawks as the bulk of migrants. Turkey vultures, osprey, and American kestrels will be uncommon for the rest of the season while rough-legged and red-tailed hawks, eagles, and northern harriers should bring the season to a close. Similar weather is forecast for the next week. The count will likely be low until the next cold front moves in.

A late season Osprey migrates near the floodplain.

Rough-legged hawk numbers doubled this week as they arrive to their winter range.

This week Raptor View Research Institute banded six migrant raptors. For the second straight week the lower blind was more productive than the higher blind. This week’s reduced number of captures is likely due to fewer accipiters moving through the stations. RVRI is looking forward to seeing if the lower blind allows them to catch more late-season buteos, such as rough-legged hawks, which were difficult to draw in to the top site last year.

is adult male northern harrier bathed in the Bitterroot river shortly after flying through RVRI’s floodplain trapping station.

A pileated woodpecker is a frequent visitor to RVRI’s floodplain blind.

A northern pygmy-owl was captured at the west Baldy ridge trapping site. RVRI banded a different pygmy-owl last year.

Previous Field Note

10-16-13 Bird Field Note