Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Déjà vu?

After yesterday's curious scarcity of eagles, both eagle species were back in more or less full force today. Three Golden Eagles and 18 Bald Eagles were added to the count.

Mmm, three goldens... Didn't we see three goldens on several days recently? Repeat offenders maybe? Well, at least one of them was new, based on observed molt: P8 was missing in both wings. At hawk watches where birds stream through unimpeded, the hawk counter doesn't really need to concern himself with such minutiae. At peninsular sites, where birds mill around, it can be useful to keep track of plumage details on individual birds - whenever possible of course. As for the other two goldens... they were juveniles with varying amounts of white in the wings (like the bird pictured above). Similar-looking individuals were here a couple of days ago, but their plumage to me was not distinctive enough to recognize them in the field. I suspect that they have been at the Point before, but I can't be sure of that. Thus, I count them.

Only 8 Rough-legged Hawks for today was disappointing. Sandhill Crane on the other hand did well with 365 birds counted today. At the feeders, a Field Sparrow was found mixed in with some American Tree Sparrows. Field Sparrow is a fairly unusual bird around here, at the northern limit of its range.


  1. John, Thanks for the great postings. Really enjoy your comments about why and when raptors are migrating through. And your photos complete the picture


  2. Agreed, it's really cool to be able to keep up with what's going on at the point! This really brings a deeper perspective about what's going on than just reading the daily numbers. My sister, my wife and I drove up from Marquette and spent the day up at the point this past Sunday, and hope to make it back soon. Keep up the good work!

    Morty Harwood
    Northern Michigan University