11-03-14 Bird Field Note

Block title

11-03-14 Bird Field Note

November 3, 2014

Debbie Leick's Bird Field Note recounts raptor count numbers, the end of shrubby draw surveys, and the largest raptor banded this season.

PDF icon Download (1.11 MB)

Bird Field Note Shrubby Draw Surveys, Raptor Counts, and Raptor Banding 10/31/14 Compiled By: Debbie Leick

We wrapped up fall shrubby draw surveys this week. Our last two days of surveys yielded low numbers and low species diversity. A large flock of American Robins in Sheep Camp made up the bulk of the numbers on October 23rd. The arrival of overwintering American Tree Sparrows on October 30th was a fitting end to our fall surveys.

Species detected in shrubby draw surveys October 23rd and 30th

We saw high but variable bird abundance and species richness through the first week in October. We recorded our highest abundance in the first week of September, and highest species richness the last week of August.

On October 30th, Kate flushed a Wilson’s Snipe from the ground near the lower Sheep Camp stock tank.

This week we recorded 161 raptors of 12 different species. The string of low daily totals from last week continued; we averaged just 13.1 migrants per day from October 13 to October 25. On October 26 and 27, we counted 131 birds, primarily Red-tailed Hawks, Rough-legged Hawks, and eagles. We saw a similar pattern in 2012 and 2013, where long lulls in mid- October were broken by relatively high daily counts towards the end of the month. We expect most days to be slow as we head into the last couple weeks of this fall’s surveys, with occasional high counts composed primarily of buteos.

This week we captured just one Red-tailed Hawk at our Indian Ridge trapping blind. Though we saw relatively high numbers of buteos and eagles pass by on October 26 and 27, they flew at distances and heights too far to lure into our stations.

Adam released the largest bird captured this season: a Redtailed Hawk weighing more than 1200 grams (2.65 lbs).

Previous Field Note

10-28-14 Bird Field Note

Next Field Note

12-08-14 Field Note