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For today’s #TakeoverTuesday, let us introduce Abbie Valine, our lead raptor bander at Hawk Ridge! I am the lead raptor bander, which means I’m managing the main diurnal raptor banding station and teaching and working with our amazing group of banding apprentices and trainees. I first visited Hawk Ridge as a 12-year-old, started volunteering at the overlook a few years later, and began volunteering at the banding station shortly after that. This fall marks my fourth year of employment at HRBO but my first year as the lead bander, and I am excited to continue to grow into this new role.One of my favorite parts of being at the ridge every fall is seeing firsthand the seasonal shifts in species composition. Every season is also unique, and there’s always something to look forward to or dream about (Will this year finally be the next goshawk invasion? The big boreal owl irruption? Who knows!!). The bird I’m most looking forward to this fall is the first adult male sharp-shinned hawk of the season. ... See MoreSee Less
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After a slow week of rain and unfavorable winds, one of our remote banding stations received a wonderful surprise! This stunning Swainson’s Hawk is only the fifth individual to be captured and banded in 51 years at Hawk Ridge. Swainson’s Hawks are classic open-country buteos of the Great Plains and West, and can be seen in large kettles in certain regions as they funnel down through Mexico and Central America. They have the longest migration of any North American raptor at roughly 12,000 miles round trip!Hawk Ridge lies outside of the eastern reaches of their range, and they don’t typically migrate along lakeshores and ridges as much as other raptors. Therefore, our spring and fall counts in Duluth see just a small handful of them each year!Swainson’s Hawk photos provided by Kara Beer. ... See MoreSee Less
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