Notes from the Field (Spring 2014):

Date: May 30, 2014
Location: on the beach 4 miles south of Newport, Oregon
Observers at trap site: Dan Varland, Glenn Marquardt, Dawn Harris, Cory Lescher and David Adamson.


we set up for a second morning of trapping south of Newport
After capturing two vultures on May 29, we set up for a second morning of trapping south of Newport.


Two people sitting in chairs in alongside parked vehicle
David Adamson and Dawn Harris.


Dawn is a wildlife biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex.
Dawn is a wildlife biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex.


Close up of embrodery of Puffin with wording - Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge



Two men talking on the beach
Glenn Marquardt (left) and Cory Lescher chat it up. Unfortunately, chatting is all we did today. We saw far fewer vultures in the air today versus yesterday, and none came in to feed at our set (Stellar's sea lion with net launcher).



Date: May 29, 2014
Location: on the beach 4 miles south of Newport, Oregon
Observers at trap site: Dan Varland, Glenn Marquardt, Dawn Villaescuda, Rich Van Buskirk, and Brittany Nahorney.

Raptors Banded at Trap Site:
Species Color Marker Code
Turkey Vulture BN
Turkey Vulture BH


Rich Van Buskirk and Brittany Nahorney watch for vultures
Rich Van Buskirk and Brittany Nahorney watch for vultures to arrive at the set. Brittany is a summer intern working with Rich, Biology Professor at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon.





Jim Rice scopes things out.
Jim Rice scopes things out.


4Runner and trailer parked at the trap site
With the 4Runner and trailer parked at the trap site just after the net launcher was fired, Dawn Villaescuda took this photo of 29 Turkey Vultures in the air. Five were in proximity to the bait when the net launcher was fired. We captured two!


Rich and Brittany with BN.
Rich and Brittany with BN.


Rich and Brittany with BH.
Rich and Brittany with BH.



Date: May 11, 2014
Location: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Victor Ayala, Nallely Arce, Adriana Hernandez, Joe Buchanan and Tom Rowley.

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon
6 adults 1 juvenile


Marked Individuals Observed, Survey:
Species Color Marker Code
Bald Eagle N/K
Bald Eagle M/D


Raptors Banded:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon B/2


Five people posing for photo on the beach
Washington biologist Joe Buchanan (far left) joined Tom Rowley and me for today's survey with three very special guests. Left to right are Victor Ayala, Nallely Arce and Adriana Hernandez, from La Paz, Mexico. The three, like Joe, are students of the Red Knot. The Pacific coast subspecies of Red Knot winters in coastal northwestern Mexico, including Baja California Sur and the mouth of the Colorado River where Victor, Nallely and Adriana have banded them under the direction of Dr. Roberto Carmona. Red Knots wintering in Mexico migrate north to Alaska in spring, stopping on Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay to feed, where Joe and colleagues study them. Thanks to special grant funding the three were able travel to Washington to join Joe and colleagues for Red Knot research. Today, on one of their few days off during their visit, the group joined Tom Rowley and me for a raptor survey.
All photos, except for those of Red Knots, by Tom Rowley.



Adriana, Nallely and Victor describe their visit.


Bald eagle on sand with wings spread
We inadvertently captured Bald Eagle A/K, an adult male, during an effort to capture a Peregrine Falcon.


Five people posing for photo on the beach, one holding a hooded bald eagle.
Bald eagle A/K had been captured, banded, and tissue sampled on April 5. Re-capturing him during today's survey was not planned. That said, having A/K in-hand provided me with a teaching opportunity for the biologists from Mexico, none of whom had been up-close with a Bald Eagle.


Three people posing for photo on the beach, one holding a hooded bald eagle.
I demonstrated proper techniques for restraining an eagle for processing after capture, including how to apply a hood, boots and an aba (body wrap). Victor, Adriana and Nallely each had an opportunity to hold the bird before release. They were thrilled!


Man holding a hooded bald eagle with wing spread.
Victor.


Woman holding a hooded bald eagle.
Adriana.


Woman holding a hooded bald eagle.
Nallely.


Five people standing on beach with a net launcher
To show our usual approach to capturing Bald Eagles, I provided a net launcher demonstration. We also use this trap to capture Common Ravens and Turkey Vultures.


Five people on beach spreading out net on sand.
Packing the net


Net launcher in air fired over plastic demo target.
Capturing a plastic Peregrine Falcon.



Adriana applies color band B/2 to our peregrine.


Back of falcon showing molting plumage.
B/2 is beginning to molt to adult plumage.


Close up of molting plumage.
Close up of molting plumage.


Woman holding falcon and showing green leg bands.
Nallaley with B/2.


Nallely holds the remains of a Red Knot
Nallely holds the remains of a Red Knot that I found dead below a Peregrine Falcon nest site on Grays Harbor on August 3, 2012. The knot, which has a flag code of 568, was banded in 2009 in Mexico by these biologists.


Red Knots held for processing after capture
Red Knots held for processing after capture on Grays Harbor. After our day in the field surveying raptors, Victor, Nallely, Adriana and Joe joined other Washington biologists for a week of Red Knot field work on Grays Harbor



Red Knots are captured in large groups with a rocket net. So they can be identified with a spotting scope without recapture, they are marked for individual identification with leg flags. Each has its own unique code.



Adriana shows off a Red Knot captured on Grays Harbor; this knot received flag "AH", her initials.
Photo provided by Adriana Hernandez.


Leg-flagged Red Knots on Grays Harbor.
Leg-flagged Red Knots on Grays Harbor. Leg flag colors denote the country where the flag was applied. Left to right, these knots were processed in Mexico, Washington and Russia. Incredible!
Photo provided by Adriana Hernandez.



Date: May 5, 2014
Location: 1.7 miles south of Damon Road beach access, Ocean Shores
Dan Varland, Sandra Miller, Dann Sears and Larry Warwick. Photos and videos by Dan Varland.

Raptors Banded at Trap Site:
Species Color Marker Code
Bald Eagle D/2
Bald Eagle K/2



Two eagles, an adult male and a 3-year-old female, captured at the same time!


Woman holding a hooded eagle
Sandra Miller with juvenile Bald Eagle D/2. A hooded eagle is a calm eagle. They can't fight what they can't see! Sandra had the right earrings on for the occasion!
Dan Varland photo.


close up of a eagle earring
Dan Varland photo.


close up of a eagle earring
Dan Varland photo.


close up of a juvenile bald eagle's head
D/2.
Dan Varland photo.


close up of leg band and talons
Dan Varland photo.


adult male Bald Eagle.
The adult male Bald Eagle.
Dan Varland photo.


Police Officer holding bald eagle
Officer Adam Glanz stopped by.
Dan Varland photo.



Dan Sears releases K/2.



Larry Warwick releases D/2.



Date: May 4, 2014
Location: 1.7 miles south of Damon Road beach access, Ocean Shores
Observers at trap site: Dan Varland, Pam McCauley, Lisa Leitz, and Larry Warwick.

Raptors Banded at Trap Site:
Species Color Marker Code
Bald Eagle B/2


Larry Warwick and Lisa Leitz with B/2, a second-year female Bald Eagle.
Larry Warwick and Lisa Leitz with B/2, a second-year female Bald Eagle.
Dan Varland photo.



Larry Warwick releases B/2



Date: April 23, 2014
Location: 0.2 miles south of Damon Road beach access, Ocean Shores
Observers at trap site: Dan Varland, Janie Fink Veltkamp, Don Veltkamp, Trish Safstrom and Larry Warwick.

Raptors Banded at Trap Site:
Species Color Marker Code
Common Raven ROYLGS


Woman holding a hooded raven
Janie Fink Veltkamp with our raven.
Dan Varland photo.


close up of color leg bands
The color bands.
Dan Varland photo.



Don Veltkamp releases the raven.



Date: April 22, 2014
Location: North of Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Sandra Miller, and Pam McCauley.


The adult male Bald Eagle we captured, banded and tissue-sampled on
April 5, N/K, relaxes on the beach.



Date: April, 2014
Location: Hoquiam Wastewater Treatment Plant
On March 19, 2013, with the help of Adam Hoxit and Willis Industries Coastal Raptors attached a nest box for Peregrine Falcons atop an Osprey nest platform neat the Hoquiam Wastewater Treatment Plant. Our goal was to provide a site for peregrine nesting, after we saw:
  1. no Osprey nesting there, and
  2. peregrines perch on the platform. The box was placed rather late in the 2013 nesting season. Thus, when it was not used in 2013, we weren't too surprised or terribly disappointed.

We looked forward to the 2014 nesting season. To our surprise, this year Great Horned Owls decided to nest in the box. We didn't notice the tenants for quite a while, despite many checks for peregrine use! A brown bird hunkered down in a box with brown sides, mamma Great Horned Owl went un-detected until March 24. Janie Fink Veltkamp was the first to notice. Thanks Janie! Backdating from the age of the young at banding, she laid her eggs around February 17.

On April 16, we banded two nestlings at ground level below the nest box. Willis Industries generously donated their man-lift and operator Adam Hoxit to allow us access to the young. Pam McCauley helped with banding.


25-30 day old Great Horned Owls in the nest. The egg in the nest with the young owls was addled and so was removed.


Adult owl in nesting box
Tom Rowley photo.


Man on cherrypicker holding juvenile owl
Tom Rowley photo.


Man holding up owl egg
Tom Rowley photo.


men with juvenile owl in a pet crate
Tom Rowley photo.


people examining juvenile owls
Tom Rowley photo.


Woman wearing heavy gloves holding juvenile owl
Tom Rowley photo.


Close up of leg band on juvenile owl
Tom Rowley photo.


Man wearing construction helmet holding a juvenile owl
Tom Rowley photo.


Close up of juvenile owl
Tom Rowley photo.


Man holding a juvenile owl
Tom Rowley photo.


Close up of juvenile owl's face
Tom Rowley photo.


Close up of juvenile owl's face
Tom Rowley photo.


Man wearing constuction helmet in cherrypicker basket
Tom Rowley photo.






Date: April 5 2014
Location: 0.3 miles north of Ocean Shores
Observers at trap site: Dan Varland, Trish Safstrom, Pam McCauley, and Joshua Benton.

Raptors Banded at Trap Site:
Species Color Marker Code
Bald Eagle N/K





Woman holding a bald eagle
Pam McCauley with our eagle, an adult male. A hooded eagle is a calm eagle.
Dan Varland photo.


close up of talons with metal bands
Dan Varland photo.


man holding a bald eagle
Joshua Benton with our Bald Eagle.
Dan Varland photo.






Date: March 30, 2014
Location: 2.1 miles north of Ocean Shores
Observers at trap site: Dan Varland, Pam McCauley, Lisa Leitz, Chris Handley, Katherine Lopez and Tom Rowley.

Raptors Banded at Trap Site:
Species Color Marker Code
Bald Eagle M/E


The net drops around our target bird.
The net drops around our target bird.
Tom Rowley photo.


Two-year old male Bald Eagle.
Two-year old male Bald Eagle.
Tom Rowley photo.


Team effort to remove him from the net.
Team effort to remove him from the net.
Tom Rowley photo.


close up of metal tool being used to extricate talon from netting
Tom Rowley photo.


Eagle with a beak wound
Our eagle had a beak wound, which was not a serious injury. Most likely, he was bitten by another eagle during a squabble.
Tom Rowley photo.


Close up of talon with green metal band labeled ME
Tom Rowley photo.


Paul Handley about to release M/E.
Paul Handley about to release M/E.
Tom Rowley photo.


Away! Juvenille Bald Eagle in flight
Away!
Tom Rowley photo.



Date: March 23, 2014
Location: Ocean Shores
Observers at trap site: Dan Varland, Jane (Fink) Veltkamp, Don Veltkamp, Sandra Miller, and Larry Warwick.

Raptors Banded at Trap Site:
Species Color Marker Code
Common Raven RGOLSY


Sandra Miller and Don Veltkamp work to free a gull from the net.
Sandra Miller and Don Veltkamp work to free a gull from the net. The gull was captured along with our intended target, a raven.
Dan Varland photo.


Jane and Sandra with the raven.
Jane and Sandra with the raven.
Dan Varland photo.


Color bands on the raven.
Color bands on the raven.
Dan Varland photo.



Jane Fink Veltkamp releases a raven that was captured, banded and tissue sampled at Ocean Shores, WA on March 22, 2014.



Date: March 22, 2014
Location: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Jane (Fink) Veltkamp, Don Veltkamp, and Dianna Moore.

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon Merlin
5 adults,
5 juveniles
2 juveniles 1


Marked Individuals Observed, Survey:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon E/6


First-year Bald Eagle.
First-year Bald Eagle.
Dan Varland photo.



Date: March 14, 2014
Location: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Suzy Whittey, Susan Clark, Caleb Klauder and Rebecca Willms.

Raptors Banded:
Species Color Marker Code
Bald Eagle N/D


one-year old female bald eagle
Caleb, Rebecca and I work to free the Bald Eagle we captured: a one-year old female.
Suzy Whittey photo.


Caleb and Rebecca with the eagle.
Caleb and Rebecca with the eagle.
Suzy Whittey photo.


inverted white triangle feather pattern
This eagle bears the inverted white triangle feather pattern characteristic of one- and two-year-old Bald Eagles turning age two and three this spring.
Dan Varland photo.


Susan (left) and Suzy extend the wing.
Susan (left) and Suzy extend the wing. Note the uneven length of the secondary feathers at the base of the wing (below Susan's hand and inward). This ragged appearance is due to the mix of new shorter and retained longer feathers and is characteristic of Bald Eagles of this age class. (Note: Much of the fourth secondary feather was removed for heavy metal analysis. The remaining portion is clearly visible in the photo).
Dan Varland photo.


Suzy with N/D. Both iris and beak of eagles in this age class have started a color change to the yellow.
Suzy with N/D. Both iris and beak of eagles in this age class have started a color change to the yellow.
Dan Varland photo.


With the hood off, N/D reached around and gave Suzy something to remember: a peck on the cheek!
With the hood off, N/D reached around and gave Suzy something to remember: a peck on the cheek!
Dan Varland photo.


N/D goes free.
N/D goes free.
Suzy Whittey photo.



Date: March 11, 2014
Location: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Sandra Miller, Rich Van Buskirk, Mary Kay Kenney and Jesse D'Elia.

Bald Eagle landing on an Elephant Seal carcass.
Bald Eagle landing on an Elephant Seal carcass.
Rich Van Buskirk photo.


Bald Eagle feeding on an Elephant Seal carcass.
The eagle feeds with jealous raven looking on. We had the net launcher set up at this carcass, but problems with the electronics meant no capture. After our technical difficulties, Sandra, Rich and I stayed with the net launcher and carcass for additional trapping opportunities while Mary Kay and Jesse drove north in search of peregrines to capture and band.
Rich Van Buskirk photo.


Woman holding Peregrine Falcon
Mary Kay holds D/6, an adult female Peregrine Falcon captured and banded at the north end of the Long Beach peninsula.
Jesse D'Elia photo.


Person holding peregrine falcon
Jesse D'Elia photo.


Person holding peregrine falcon
Jesse D'Elia photo.


Close up of falcon's head
Jesse D'Elia photo.


Bald eagle in flight
Jesse D'Elia photo.


Man sleeping on the beach
With no avian scavengers in the area and the weather wonderful, I used the opportunity to catch some sleep at the trap site.
Jesse D'Elia photo.


Man sleeping on the beach
Sandra Miller kept watch on the trap from the 4Runner while I got some rest.
Jesse D'Elia photo.



Date: March 10, 2014
Location: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Mary Kay Kenney, Suzanne Staples, and Rich Van Buskirk. In second vehicle: Suzy Whittey, Mary Kroski, Jean Fairbanks and Sandra Miller.

Raptor Count, survey:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon A/7


Marked Individuals Observed, Survey:
Species Color Marker Code
Bald Eagle M/R


Suzy Whittey (left) generously provided subway sandwiches for the group. Pictured with Suzy are Mary Kroski (center) and Jean Fairbanks.
Suzy Whittey (left) generously provided subway sandwiches for the group. Pictured with Suzy are Mary Kroski (center) and Jean Fairbanks.
Dan Varland photo.


Bald Eagles. One was banded, though the bands are not visible.
Bald Eagles. One was banded, though the bands are not visible.
Mary Kay Kenney photo.


Bald eagle
Rich Van Buskirk took this close-up with a telephoto lens at 2:17PM. The banded eagle on the right is M/R, an adult male we captured and banded not far from this location on April 12, 2012. The location is nearly 20 miles north of the south end of the peninsula. Most remarkable about this re-sighting is that M/R was spotted and photographed the same day at around 11:30AM, 18 miles south of our re-sighting location.


Bald eagle feeds on a sea lion carcass
With a family enjoying the spectacle, M/R feeds on a sea lion carcass just off the Seaview beach access. This photo of M/R was taken by Phillis Stupeck at 4:55 PM, less than 3 hours after we spotted him near the tower 18 miles further north.


M/R feeding at 5:01 PM.
M/R feeding at 5:01 PM.
Phillis Stupeck photo.



Date: March 9, 2014
Location: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Mary Kay Kenney, Sandra Miller, and Rich Van Buskirk.

Raptors Banded:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon A/7


Sandra and Mary Kay work to fit a hood on A/7, a first-year female Peregrine Falcon we captured.
Sandra and Mary Kay work to fit a hood on A/7, a first-year female Peregrine Falcon we captured.
Dan Varland photo.


Peregrine falcon A/7.
A/7.
Dan Varland photo.



Date: March 8, 2014
Location: Ocean Shores
Observers on survey: Mary Kay Kenney, Dianna Moore, Dave Murnen, and Virginia Molenaar.
Observers at trap site: Dan Varland, Steven Wilder, Don and Dalene Edgar.

Raptors Banded, Survey and Trap Site:
Peregrine Falcon Bald Eagle
M/7 P/O


Marked Individuals Observed, Survey:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon E/6


Dianna Moore with first-year female Peregrine Falcon
Dianna Moore with M/7, a first-year female Peregrine Falcon captured for banding and tissue sampling.
Virginia Molenaar photo.


female Peregrine Falcon
Photo opportunity with M/7. Strong winds and driving rain were the order of the day.
Dan Varland photo.


Mary Kay Kenney and Dave Murnen.
Mary Kay Kenney and Dave Murnen.
Dan Varland photo.


The net launcher fires and we capture a one-year-old male Bald Eagle
The net launcher fires and we capture a one-year-old male Bald Eagle.
Dalene Edgar photo.


Steven Wilder with our captured eagle.
Steven Wilder with our captured eagle. Given severe rain and wind at the trap site, we decided to process the eagle in Don and Dalene Edgar's garage, miles from the trap site. We released him where he was captured after we completed the processing procedure.
Dan Varland photo.


With Steven Wilder holding the bird and Don Edgar with pliers, Mary Kay applies the bands.
With Steven Wilder holding the bird and Don Edgar with pliers, Mary Kay applies the bands.
Dalene Edgar photo.


Given our unhappiness with the weather, we decided to use color band PO for this eagle....enough said!
Given our unhappiness with the weather, we decided to use color band PO for this eagle....enough said!
Dalene Edgar photo.


Woman holding falcon
Mary Kay with P/O.
Dalene Edgar photo.