Notes from the Field (Fall 2011):

Date: November 28, 2011
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Mike Walker and Tom Rowley.


Raptor count:
Bald Eagle
5 adults



Adult Bald Eagle at the water's edge.
Adult Bald Eagle at the water's edge.
Tom Rowley photo.


Adult Bald Eagle at the water's edge.
Tom Rowley photo.


Adult Bald Eagle at the water's edge.
Tom Rowley photo.



Date: November 21, 2011
Location: Wildlife Center of the North Coast, south of Astoria, Oregon.
Comments: R/2, a first-year female Peregrine Falcon we banded on January 28, 2010, was found with a broken leg and other injuries on November 21, 2011 at the south end of the Megler Bridge, which spans the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon. She was taken to the Wildlife Center of the North Coast for rehabilitation. Friend and colleague Tracy Fleming has been monitoring her status. He sent me the following account along with several photos.

She was found sitting on the "curb", apparently hit by a car on the south end of the Megler Bridge, Astoria, Oregon. Wind was blowing ~70 mph. (Has all of the signs of being hit by a car . . . she was on the road, has "road rash" on her back [de-feathered and small scabs all over skin of her back and a skin tear at the base of one wing that needed sutures, etc., generally indicative of being bounced / rolled down pavement), most of her back was bruised (not consistent with flying into something . . . then the trauma is on the breast / face / front). She also has some nicks on her beak that are consistent with road rash / pavement nicks (visible in pics). My best guess, based on seeing two red-tails get hit under similar circumstances, is that she was going down wind, couldn't get lift and threw her feet down trying to avoid a collision. She almost missed, but her feet likely hit the very top of the vehicle (hence the broken leg / swollen feet) and she was knocked out of the air and rolled down the road. Given the amount of bruising and "degloving" on her back, it seems unlikely she could then fly (still can't . . . very stiff and sore). Indeed, she was probably lucky to get on the curb and not run over. Birds that size are just tall enough to get clipped in the head when going under a vehicle. They generally don't survive.

Peregrine Falcon recovering from a broken leg and other injuries at the Wildlife Center of the North Coast.
R/2, a Peregrine Falcon we banded at Long Beach on January 28, 2010 in rehabilitation with a broken leg and other injuries at the Wildlife Center of the North Coast.
Tracy Fleming photo.


Peregrine Falcon recovering from a broken leg and other injuries at the Wildlife Center of the North Coast.
R/2 in rehab.
Tracy Fleming photo.


Photo of R/2 on the day we captured and banded her on the Long Beach Peninsula.
Photo of R/2 on the day we captured and banded her on the Long Beach Peninsula. She was banded on the drive north, then on the drive south we found her scavenging this Brown Pelican carcass
Dan Varland photo.



Dan Varland photo.



Date: November 19, 2011
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Bill Dyer, Melinda Dyer, Isabelle Dyer, Aaron Dyer Miller, Mike Walker and Dianna Moore.


Raptor count:
Peregrine Falcon Bald Eagle Snowy Owl Merlin
2 adults,
1 juvenile
3 adults 2 1



Adult Peregrine Falcon.
Adult Peregrine Falcon.
Melinda Dyer photo.


Juvenile Peregrine Falcon.
Juvenile Peregrine Falcon.
Melinda Dyer photo.


Snowy Owl perched on driftwood
First-year female Snowy Owl.
Melinda Dyer photo.


Bald Eagles.
Bald Eagles.
Melinda Dyer photo.



Date: November 13, 2011
Beach: Grayland
Observers: Dave Murnen, Dann Sears, Dan and Sandra Miller.


Raptor count:
Peregrine Falcon Bald Eagle
3 juveniles 1 adult




Date: November 8, 2011
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Mike Walker and Dann Sears.


Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Snowy Owl Peregrine Falcon Northern Harrier
3 adults 1 juvenile 1 juvenile 1



Snowy Owl
This first-year female Snowy Owl was perched north of Ocean Shores. We were very excited to see her, having observed them on only five of our comprehensive surveys since 1995. The last date we saw a snowy on a comprehensive survey was December 10, 2005.
Dan Varland photo.


Snowy Owl
Dan Varland photo.


Snowy Owl
Dan Varland photo.


Snowy Owl
Dan Varland photo.



Date: November 4, 2011
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Mike Walker, Don and Dalene Edgar.


Raptor count:
Peregrine Falcon Bald Eagle
2 adults,
2 juveniles
2 adults



Raptors Captured and Banded:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon R/5



Falcon hunting shorebirds.
Falcon hunting shorebirds.
Dalene Edgar photo.


Juvenile female Peregrine Falcon near Connor Creek north of Ocean Shores.
Juvenile female Peregrine Falcon near Connor Creek north of Ocean Shores. We captured and banded her not long after this photo was taken.
Dalene Edgar photo.


Don Edgar holds R/5 while Mike Walker reads a measurement taken from the calipers to Dan Varland.
Don Edgar holds R/5 while Mike Walker reads a measurement taken from the calipers to Dan Varland.
Dalene Edgar photo.


Mike, Don and Dan work around the table with R/5.
Mike, Don and Dan work around the table with R/5.
Mike Walker photo.


Peregrine falcon
R/5.
Mike Walker photo.


Mike Walker with R/5.
Mike Walker with R/5.
Dalene Edgar photo.


Peregrine falcon
R/5.
Dalene Edgar photo.



Date: October 31, 2011
Beach: Ocean Shores
Participants: Dan Varland, Sandra Miller, Tom Rowley and Dale Larson.


Raptor count:
Peregrine Falcon Bald Eagle
2 juveniles 1 adult



Raptors Captured and Banded:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon M/5



Falcon diving in flight
Peregrine Falcon dives at prey on the beach at Grayland.
Tom Rowley photo.


Falcon being held wings spread
Sandra Miller admires M/5, a first-year Peregrine Falcon.
Tom Rowley photo.


Close up of falcon's head
M/5.
Tom Rowley photo.


Falcon looking up at captor while being held
M/5.
Tom Rowley photo.



Date: October 29, 2011
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dan Miller, Dale Larson and Ellen Sweetin.


Raptor count:
Bald Eagle
3 adults



Bald Eagle.
Bald Eagle.
Ellen Sweetin photo.


Houses on edge of eroding beach with tubes exposed by erosion
Geotubes in place below housing near the jetty at Ocean Shores. These sand-filled tubes were put in place and buried more than 10 years ago in an effort to block ocean wave erosion. Only very recently have the tubes been exposed to view.
Dan Varland photo.



Date: October 23, 2011
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dave Murnen, Tom Rowley, Ellen Sweetin, Cameron and Christina Snyder.


Raptor count:
Bald Eagle
3 adults



Head of a Great White Shark we saw washed up on the beach today.
Head of a Great White Shark we saw washed up on the beach today.
Tom Rowley photo.


Common Raven feeding on crab.
Common Raven feeding on crab.
Tom Rowley photo.


Sanderlings.
Sanderlings.
Tom Rowley photo.


Sanderlings (light colored) and Dunlin (darker with decurved bills).
Sanderlings (light colored) and Dunlin (darker with decurved bills).
Tom Rowley photo.