September Hawk Ridge Banding Station Summary

October 1, 2013 Leave your thoughts
Black-Billed Cuckoo, Image by Miranda Durbin

Passerine Banding summary: Thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers, we had a successful month banding passerines. The numbers continue to be down from last year, but we did have a good last two days of the month with over 100 birds banded. We banded a total of 668 passerines this month. Highlights included Black-throated Blue Warblers and Golden-winged Warbler on the same day, 45 White-throated Sparrows total in the last two days, and catching a late Black-billed Cuckoo on the 29th. We are up to 62 species for the year. This month, we are also trying out a double-high net we call the aerial net. We have it set up in the pines, and hope we can catch a few crossbills or an unusual woodpecker before the snows arrive. We banded birds at the main overlook on four weekends in September. A total of 119 birds were banded with highlights being 57 White-throated Sparrows, 10 White-crowned Sparrows, and 29 Black-capped Chickadees. We will be banding on weekends at the overlook at least through mid-October. (submitted by David Alexander)  

Raptor Banding summary: This month’s raptor banding totals are well below 2011 and 2012 by as much as half. Poor migration weather combined with what appears to be a poor year of breeding by most species moving through Hawk Ridge. We saw poor flights of immature birds such as Sharp-shinned Hawks, Red-tailed Hawks, American Kestrel, Merlin and Peregrine Falcon among others.

A total of 1244 hawks were banded in September, and as of the evening of the 29th, a total  of 176 Northern Saw-whet Owls have been captured of which all of which were adults. The hawks included: 2 Bald Eagles, 16 Northern Harriers, 1097 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 19 Cooper’s Hawk, 2 Northern Goshawks, 12 Broad-winged Hawks, 19 Red-tailed Hawks, 30 American Kestrels,  42 Merlins and 5 Peregrine Falcons.

Among the months highlights were several good flight days, a third year  and an adult Bald Eagle. September 30 was especially memorable with capturing and banding 3 adult peregrines: 1 second-year male and 2 after-second year females. I am not aware of any station catching 3 adult peregrines in a day, let alone in a season!!!  (submitted by Frank Nicoletti, Banding Director)

David Alexander with 2 adult Peregrine Falcons , photo by Steve Bockhold

Frank Nicoletti with hatch year Peregrine Falcon, photo by Rachel Harris 
Adult Red-tailed Hawk, banded by Nova Mackentley, photo by Karen Stubenvoll

Posted by Frank Nicoletti


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