יומן של Inland Pacific Northwest Raptor Migration 2020

ינואר 01, 2021

Final Summary

We are now starting a new year and with that ends the 2020 Inland Pacific Northwest Raptor Migration. These last six months were amazing in more ways than one. We may have not gotten the numbers we did last year but there was definitely some eye popping sightings. I thank all who participated, I really do appreciate the hard work and I hope you'll be able to participate in the 2021 IPNRM six months from now. Without further adieu, here's the data from this year's project.

Top 5 Species (December):

  1. Red-tailed Hawk -- 55 obs
  2. Bald Eagle -- 14 obs (+1)
  3. Cooper's Hawk -- 8 obs (new to Top 5)
  4. Rough-legged Hawk -- 8 obs (-2)
  5. Northern Harrier -- 7 obs

Top 5 Species (Overall):

  1. Red-tailed Hawk -- 288 obs
  2. Swainson's Hawk -- 62 obs (+4 from last year)
  3. Osprey -- 60 obs (+8 from last year)
  4. Bald Eagle -- 58 obs (+1 from last month; +3 from last year)
  5. American Kestrel -- 55 obs (-1 from last month; -3 from last year)
  6. Cooper's Hawk -- 47 obs (-1 from last year)
  7. Great Horned Owl -- 41 obs (-3 from last year)
  8. Northern Harrier -- 38 obs (+1 from last month)
  9. Turkey Vulture -- 35 obs (-1 from last month; +1 from last year)
  10. Rough-legged Hawk -- 29 obs (-7 from last year)
  11. Golden Eagle -- 17 obs (+1 from last year)
  12. Merlin -- 16 obs (+3 from last year)
  13. Sharp-shinned Hawk -- 16 obs (-4 from last year)
  14. Barred Owl -- 12 obs (+8 from last year)
  15. Prairie Falcon -- 11 obs (+1 from last month; -1 from last year)
  16. Ferruginous Hawk -- 11 obs (-1 from last month; -3 from last year)
  17. Peregrine Falcon -- 9 obs (-1 from last year)
  18. Northern Pygmy-Owl -- 7 obs (-1 from last year)
  19. Northern Saw-whet Owl -- 6 obs (+8 from last month; -1 from last year)
  20. Northern Goshawk -- 4 obs (-1 from last month)
  21. Western Screech-Owl -- 4 obs (-1 from last month)
  22. Barn Owl -- 4 obs (+3 from last month; +8 from last year)
  23. Red-shouldered -- 3 obs (-2 from last month; -4 from last year)
  24. Burrowing Owl -- 3 obs (-2 from last month; +3 from last year)
  25. Long-eared Owl -- 3 obs (-2 from last month; -1 from last year)
  26. Short-eared Owl -- 3 obs (-2 from last month; +2 from last year)
  27. Great Gray Owl -- 2 obs (-1 from last month; -1 from last year)
  28. Flammulated Owl -- 2 obs (First Time in Project)
  29. Broad-winged Hawk -- 1 obs (First Time in Project)

Total Species Overall: 29

Species Missed and Comments:
Quick rundown again for refreshing purposes, there are 35 "expected" raptor species across the project's perimeters. These list was developed by eBird filters, regardless if the species was rare or even never sighted in that county. Here's the ones we missed:

White-tailed Kite: Just like I said last year, this is going to be the hardest species to find. There are only 3 eastern Oregon sightings (none in WA) and none of them are 21st century sightings.

Snowy Owl: We missed this one again, though from my experience, Snowy Owls tend to be a January-February species rather than December.

Northern Hawk-Owl: This is one of the three species that were seen last year but not this year. This is a tough species to get and for me, this is the only owl species I have not seen yet, counting singing Flammulated.

Spotted Owl: Without a doubt this is the hardest species to find because they can be found within the project's perimeters but just to find appropriate habitat on this side of the Cascades is hard.

Boreal Owl: Species two from last year we didn't get. I kept making promises I would chase one down in Oregon but plans kept getting cancelled to the point that appropriate habitat became inaccessible for a vehicle.

Gyrfalcon: I have never seen a Gyrfalcon since I left Montana, so I'm not entirely surprised there wasn't one spotted. Though it seems some had luck last year.

Subspecies:
Subspecies are important for conservational and distribution reasons. There are a few subspecies within raptors and I did my best to identify them. Just because I didn't identify your observation to subspecies doesn't mean I wasn't thinking it. For article length reasons, I will forego species that will absolutely have no chance of being in the project's perimeters (such as Lapland Great Gray Owl). Here we go!

Northern Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus velox) -- 16
Queen Charlotte Sharp-shinned Hawk (A. s. perobscurus) -- 0

Western Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis calurus) -- 136
Harlan's Hawk (B. j. harlani) -- 5
Western/Northern Red-tailed Hawk (B. j. calurus **or* abieticola)* -- 2 (See Final Comments)
Eastern Red-tailed Hawk (B. j. borealis) -- 0
Northern Red-tailed Hawk (B. j. abieticola) -- 0

California Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus elegans) -- 3
Eastern Red-shouldered Hawk (B. l. lineatus) -- 0

Taiga Merlin (Falco columbarius columbarius) -- 15
Prairie Merlin (F. c. richardsoni) -- 0
Black Merlin (F. c. sickleyii) -- 0

*Interior Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus lagophus) -- 33
*Pale Great Horned Owl (B. v. subarcticus) -- 0

Pacific Northern Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium gnoma californicum) -- 0
Rocky Mountains Pygmy-Owl (G. g. pinicola) -- 0
Northern Pygmy-Owl (G. g. californicum **or* pincola)* -- 7 (See Final Comments)

Top 5 Observers (Observations): birdwhisperer (me) 243 obs, @masonmaron 86 obs, @cgates326 77 obs, @the-catfinch 52 obs and @uta_stansburiana 15 obs

Top 5 Observers (Species): cgates326 19 species, birdwhisperer 18 species, masonmaron 13 species, uta_stansburiana 11 species and @brodiecasstalbott 11 species

Counties Missed: Three counties did not get an observation for the project. Ferry and Klickitat, Washington and Wheeler, Oregon.

Final Comments: We do a quick recognition of those who've contributed to the project. To start off, the Observation of the Week goes to cgates326 for a "dark" intermediate morph Western Red-tailed Hawk. This individual is definitely on the heavier marked side of the spectrum, just bringing in more evidence just how variable plumages can be.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/67274557

Observation of the Month goes to @csm2020 for a photo of a Barred Owl. This is a though species to find in the Rocky/Blue Mts chain so it's always a special treat to find one. If you want to see one for yourself, look around wooded areas close to water. Especially if that location has tons of frogs.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/67154545

I would like to thank again everyone who participated. It was fun to do this project again for a second year and see what kind of interesting data we get out of it. In the meantime before the 2021 project begins, there are other projects you can participate in. Project WAfLS (Western Asio flammeus Landscape Survey) will take place this spring to monitor nesting Short-eared Owl across several western US states. I did a grid last spring and was one of the few people in Oregon to not only find owls but copulating Short-eared. Once again, thank you, you guys are great! Good luck in 2021!

https://avianknowledgenorthwest.net/citizen-science/short-eared-owls/53-wafl-project-overview

Sean Cozart -- birdwhisperer

פורסם ב ינואר 01, 2021 08:01 אחה"צ על־ידי birdwhisperer birdwhisperer | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה

דצמבר 23, 2020

Christmas Week

The final countdown is beginning for the project and this is my second to last post. Otherwise, I'd be celebrating Christmas Adam because we all know Adam came before Eve. Corny joke but worth the pity laugh. Over the week we gathered another 21 observations that now puts us close to 850 for the project. With nine days left, we need to gather another two hundred or so to broke last year. Doesn't seem like we'll make it but this year was definitely a unique one for the project.

Observation for the week goes to @the-catfinch for a photo of a Angry Bird--, I mean Northern Pygmy-Owl on a wire. Spotted in northeastern Spokane, you can find this guys just about anywhere close to forests or mountains. They're also the most likely owl you're going to see during the day since their favorite treat is songbirds. They are also the smallest raptor in the whole project, averaging about 6 inches tall or the same size of your local House Finches or House Sparrows. Though I've seen them plenty of times, they still shock me too with their ridiculously small size. You can see the observation here:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/66952307

I did my Christmas Bird Count this past Sunday and though I saw plenty of raptors, weather and distance prohibited any decent content. With the last days of the year ticking down, I would hope we can end this project with a bang. My personal goal is to find one new species so that way I can tie last year. What do you want to break?

פורסם ב דצמבר 23, 2020 09:41 אחה"צ על־ידי birdwhisperer birdwhisperer | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה

דצמבר 16, 2020

Let It Snow

The last seven days were very slow for the project, probably due to the weather we've been getting. The Blue Mountain basins have been snowed out from the rest of the world, so we'll see you when spring comes. Only 10 observations were posted in the last week, though I have some crappy photos that still need uploading.

Just because there was little submission, doesn't mean photos were bad quality. Let's congratulate @ferrisjabr on a photo of a flying adult plumage Bald Eagle, in Bend, Oregon. The national bird and for a very good reason. This photo is what I'd call the put-it-on-a-postal-stamp photo. These 7 foot wingspan raptors are definitely a treat to see.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/66492957

We are ticking down to the last two weeks of the project. With snow occurring through much of the project's perimeters, we should be keeping an eye out for Snowy Owls and Gyrfalcons. I went out to a place I suspect will be the future location of a Snowy Owl sighting in northeastern Oregon yesterday with no luck but just give it time. As for you, I wish you the best of luck.

פורסם ב דצמבר 16, 2020 05:42 אחה"צ על־ידי birdwhisperer birdwhisperer | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה

דצמבר 09, 2020

Season Greetings

The first week of December is now over and it's looking to be a great month for birders and hawkwatchers. As for me, my first week gifted me with four Blue Jays, my life Harris's Sparrow and my first visual Great Horned Owl in the last couple months. We got 35 observations over the week with a variety of species with one particular individual taking the spotlight.

Observation of the week goes to @cgates326 for his photo of a sleeping Northern Saw-whet Owl that's drawing a lot of attention in central Oregon. These are by far my favorite species of owl but I've had difficulty seeing them since my last sighting in which I spotted one feasting on a vole on the white line of an Oregon highway. The lack of sightings has nothing to do with whether or not they're in the vicinity but because they are masters of hiding. If you know of any place that has trimmed spruce trees that you can walk under, look for the poop piles saw-whets will leave and look up. You may get an owl one out of ten times. Just remember to be respective of their of space and no pointing.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/66122454

With a good start to December, I expect the next seven days being just as good. We will definitely see an increase of raptors if it would just snow but the future forecast doesn't seem good. Also look out for other birds. Finches are making irruptions this year and this is your best chance of seeing Hoary Redpolls, Pine Grosbeaks or Purple Finches within the project's perimeters. Good luck!

פורסם ב דצמבר 09, 2020 08:52 אחה"צ על־ידי birdwhisperer birdwhisperer | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה

דצמבר 03, 2020

November Summary

The month of November has ended. For some it comes off as a relief since we are in the last month of this wreck we call 2020, some others because it's Christmas season. Whatever it is, this is the report for the past thirty days.

Top 5 Species (November):
Red-tailed Hawk -- 56 obs
Rough-legged Hawk -- 17 obs (new to Top 5)
Bald Eagle -- 13 obs (+1)
American Kestrel -- 9 obs (-2)
Northern Harrier -- 8 obs (returns to Top 5)

Top 5 Species (Overall):
Red-tailed Hawk -- 218 obs
Swainson's Hawk -- 62 obs
Osprey -- 60 obs
American Kestrel -- 46 obs (+1)
Bald Eagle -- 39 obs (new to Top 5)

Total Species Overall: 29

Top 5 Observers (Observations): birdwhisperer 195 obs, @masonmaron 68 obs, @cgates 326 59 obs, @the-catfinch 25 obs and @uta_stansburiana 19 obs

Top 5 Observers (Species): cgates326 18 species, birdwhisperer 18 species, masonmaron 12 species, uta_stansburiana 11 species and the-catfinch 10 species

Species Still Not Observed: White-tailed Kite, Snowy Owl, Northern Hawk-Owl, Spotted Owl, Boreal Owl and Gyrfalcon -- 6 species

New Species in November: Short-eared Owl and Northern Saw-whet Owl

Counties Needing Observations: Washington -- Ferry and Klickitat -- Oregon -- Wheeler

News and What to Expect in December: To compare with last year's project, we are 300 hundred observations short of breaking the record. I doubt we'll break that but maybe we'll get a Christmas miracle. We are one species short of last year but I think we can get the Snowy Owl and Gyrfalcon if we try hard enough. I still need to go out and find Boreal Owls, just need to get snow tires on. This is the final month of the project so let's get a little extra oomph into finishing strong.

For the Observation of the Month, lets congratulate cgates326 for his photo of a male American Kestrel. They are the smallest North American diurnal raptor and are often found in open fields and agriculture. They are the only falcons to nest in cavities or nest boxes and they are in my opinion, the best pest control. If any of you are or know any farmers, encourage them to establish kestrel boxes to discourage the use of pesticides. You can see the photo here:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/64564834

Observation of the Week goes to @nordsman for an excellent flight shot of an immature Northern Harrier. Often called Swamp Hawks, you can find the highest concentration of these aerobatic dancers around marshes, making places like McNary NWR and Ladd Marsh WMA are perfect places to see large numbers of these guys. Here's the photo:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/65866225

פורסם ב דצמבר 03, 2020 06:31 לפנה"צ על־ידי birdwhisperer birdwhisperer | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה

נובמבר 26, 2020

Thankful Week

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, the one special holiday to enjoy some time with your family whether or not you decide to or not. During the week, we obtained 21 observations, which is a little below the average. Good news for us, unless my plans change (which they do often), I get to go Morrow/Umatilla County this Sunday in search for some cool hawks.

Observation of the week goes to @nordsman for a photo of a juvenile Western Red-tailed Hawk. It might be a common species but when you get a great photo, it deserves some recognition. The broad patagials and barred flanks are good indicators of the subspecies, especially in juvenile plumage. You can see the photo here:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/65501164

I still want to go out and find owls but snow will keep me away from the mountains until I get snow tires on my car. We still need saw-whet owls for the project and with the excitement of the Rockfeller owl, go looking in spruce trees. It's their favorite tree and it doesn't matter if it's remote or in a city, they'll be there. Good luck birders!

פורסם ב נובמבר 26, 2020 03:28 לפנה"צ על־ידי birdwhisperer birdwhisperer | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה

נובמבר 19, 2020

Aerial Masters

Another week has passed and admittingly, I'm shocked to learn only seven observations were submitted this week. I do have to submit some, but I'm waiting for ebird to get back online tomorrow morning before I start downloading things. What went down during this slow but windy week?

The seven observations were good, including Merlin and goshawks but I think it's time to dabble in the Debate. Observation of the week goes to @heyrobt for an amazing quality photo of a juvenile Accipiter. As you can see from the community id, it's a hot heated debate right now. I believe we've all seen that Youtube video which was a "trailer" for the Great Accipiter Debate but I think instances like this observation is the reason it should be a full-length movie.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/65121596

For the next week, I hope the winds calm down in the Blue Mountain Basins. I tried looking for some White-winged Scoters but the 30 mph winds with 45 mph gust made sure I couldn't stand let alone see birds on the choppy waters. But on the bright side, if I hadn't stop looking for the scoters, I wouldn't have spotted my first 2020-2021 Harlan's Hawk and a Ferruginous Hawk. Taking advantage of the high winds apparently. Definitely good stuff out there. Good luck!

פורסם ב נובמבר 19, 2020 04:52 לפנה"צ על־ידי birdwhisperer birdwhisperer | 2 comments | הוספת תגובה

נובמבר 11, 2020

Winter's Bite

What has the first eleven days of November gave us? Bitter cold, or at least that's what I'm told since I'm an very tolerate of colder weather. Northeastern Oregon got two inches of snow Saturday and since it's been snowing as fast as its melting. Roads are a complete mess but that didn't stop me from hopping into the car and getting out in the valley looking for hawks. We added 33 observations to the project over the week, though admittingly, I posted 24 of those. I got my first Rough-legged Hawk of the 2020-2021 winter which is big for me.

The observation of the week is another Red-tailed Hawk of the western race. This excellent flight shot from @danithedeer in Madras shows a rufous morph. I won't go into the whole speech again on identifying this cool guys but you might like this. I found two northern-type Red-tails two days ago in the Grande Ronde Valley. They were juveniles so much harder to identify to subspecies, if at all. The jury is still out in confidently confirming my hawks as abieticola because calurus can exhibit my key field marks, but these variants do not occur in juveniles born and raised in Oregon, so my hypothesis is that they come from British Columbia or Alberta. Anyway, you can see the rufous Western Red-tailed here:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/64401965

In the following week, stay safe as roads are becoming more hazardous. Snow is not fun to drive in if you don't know what you're doing. But if you get a chance, photograph some raptors and see what kind of data can be produced. Good luck!

פורסם ב נובמבר 11, 2020 06:06 אחה"צ על־ידי birdwhisperer birdwhisperer | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה

נובמבר 04, 2020

October Summary

Very belated month summary but that's because I forgot. Anyway, the month's report and the weekly report will be below.

Top 5 Species (October):
Red-tailed Hawk -- 31 obs
American Kestrel -- 9 obs (returns to Top 5)
Sharp-shinned Hawk -- 8 obs (new to Top 5)
Bald Eagle -- 7 obs (new to Top 5)
Merlin -- 6 obs (new to Top 5)

Top 5 Species (Overall):
Red-tailed Hawk -- 145 obs
Swainson's Hawk -- 62 obs
Osprey -- 59 obs
Great Horned Owl -- 36 obs (+1 spot)
American Kestrel -- 35 obs (new to Top 5)

Total Species Overall: 27

Top 5 Observers (Observations): birdwhisperer 144 obs, @cgates326 43 obs, @masonmaron 33 obs, @uta_stansburiana 19 obs and @josegarrido 18 obs

Top 5 Observers (Species): birdwhisperer 17 species, cgates326 13 species, uta_stansburiana 11 species, masonmaron 10 species and @brodiecasstalbott 8 species

Species Still Not Observed: White-tailed Kite, Snowy Owl, Northern Hawk-Owl, Spotted Owl, Short-eared Owl, Boreal Owl, Northern Saw-whet and Gyrfalcon -- 8 species

New Species in October: Rough-legged Hawk

Counties Needing Observations: Washington -- Ferry, Klickitat and Columbia -- Oregon -- Morrow and Wheeler

News and What to Expect in November: That's the month, we tagged on our expected addition of the Rough-legged Hawk and if this year is anything like last year, the observation counts will skyrocket with this arctic Buteo. We still have 5 counties lacking any raptor sightings whatsoever but in all fairness, I drove through 3 of them two weeks ago. We'll see how it goes.

We are closing in on the last two months of the year and though this year may have been crummy, I sense that a lot of birders had more opportunities to go out and do what they love. Let's keep the observations pouring in and if can, find a few owls. We'll probably miss the White-tailed Kite for the project but there's only two overall sightings within the project's perimeters anyway, so it was a long shot. But we can totally get the Northern Hawk-Owl or saw-whet.

Observation of the month goes to @doughenderson11 for his photo of a Northern Pygmy-Owl lunch. I really liked this photo because it really gives us a perspective on just how small these owls are, they aren't called pygmy-owls for nothing. It's prey, a deer mouse if I were to hazard a guess, is nearly the same size as this 6 inch owl. The pygmy-owl also holds the placement of being our project's smallest raptor. We should see more sightings of these guys as winter progresses. See the observation here:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/63734872

Observation of the week goes to cgates326 for his Western Red-tailed Hawk by his ramshackle nest. Raptorial species that are residents, such as Red-tails and Bald Eagles, tend to stay in the vicinity of their nest and will continue to repair it throughout the winter to make sure it's in tip top shape when spring comes around. Link to that observation here:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/64021011

And that is it hawkwatchers, good luck to whatever birding you do during the month.

פורסם ב נובמבר 04, 2020 05:25 אחה"צ על־ידי birdwhisperer birdwhisperer | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה

אוקטובר 28, 2020

Double Header

If there's anyone reading this posts, you might've noticed there was no post last Wednesday. Well, I was watching Pelagic Cormorants and Harbor Porpoises on the coast. But I'll give justice to the time lost and this week, I'll cover the past fourteen days and there will be "two" Observations of the Week.

During the week of Oct 15-21, we gained 27 observations from ten different species. That put us over my goal to acquire 500 observations, which is great and I hope we keep up the good work. The observation of the week will go to @gentilcore for an excellent capture of two adult Bald Eagles at Dog Lake, Lake Co, OR. I will go on a guess and see this is a breeding pair as eagles mate for life and they generally don't leave each other. When I was in Salem last week in Ankeny NWR, I saw a pair of adult eagles that were sitting by each other on their nest, though it being long after their chicks fledged. You can see the observation here:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/63179965

On the week of Oct 22-today, we went right back into the gutter. Only nine observations added and that is yet again a record low for the project as a whole since it started last year. When this season ends in January, I would like to end this project with 1000 observations but teen or single digit additions per week is going to put us well short of that goal. This week's observation goes to @cgates326 for a Sharp-shinned Hawk that's really putting on the adorable face. In all truthfulness, sometimes I think these little hawks are comparable to Baby Yoda and it's perhaps the reason I enjoy this species so much. With more migrating into the area, expect more Sharp-shinned to be around.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/63530828

What can we expect for the next week. Well, October will end so I'll be writing the monthly post on Sunday. We, northeastern Oregon, got our first frost and snowfall two days ago but the forecast is suggesting warmer weather, which should be great for hawks. This Saturday, I will be owling (yes on Halloween night with a full moon) in the Elkhorn Mts in hopes of finding a Boreal Owl. It's an ambitious goal but I think it's dueable. If any of you want to try out your own luck for Boreal, just let me know and I can give your instructions to maximize your chances. Good luck birders!

פורסם ב אוקטובר 28, 2020 05:22 אחה"צ על־ידי birdwhisperer birdwhisperer | 1 comment | הוספת תגובה