Notes from the Field (Summer 2016):



Date: August 23, 2016
Location: North side of Grays Harbor, 3 miles west of Hoquiam.
Observers: Dan Varland, Glenn Marquardt and Kristin Jones.


Individuals Captured and Marked:
Species Color Marker Code
Common Raven ROGLGS
Common Raven RGYLYS


Marked Individuals Observed:
Species Color Marker Code
Turkey Vulture BV
Turkey Vulture AL
Turkey Vulture HE



Net launcher in the foreground with deer carcass as bait beyond.
Kristin Jones photo.



Viewed from the blind, three Turkey Vultures sunning themselves with wings extended: AL (tagged in 2013); BV and HE (both tagged in 2015).
Kristin Jones photo.



The pink mouth indicates this raven is a first-year bird. We captured another raven at the same time; it also had a pink mouth. Feeding together at the carcass, in all likelihood they were siblings that had fledged from a nearby nest earlier in the summer.
Dan Varland photo.



Note the brown breast feathers; these are indicative of an immature raven.
Dan Varland photo.



The visual ID bands on this raven were recorded as ROGLGS (Right: Orange over Gray; left: Gray over Silver.)
Dan Varland photo.



Kristin with ROGLGS.
Dan Varland photo.



Kristin releases ROGLGS.
Dan Varland video


The visual ID bands on this raven were recorded as RGYLYS (Right: Green over Yellow; Left: Yellow over Silver).
Dan Varland photo.



RGYLYS
Dan Varland photo.




Date: July 1, 2016
Location: North side of Grays Harbor, 3 miles west of Hoquiam.
Observers: Dan Varland, Ashley Sacco, Rene and Ann Morris.


Individuals Captured and Marked:
Species Color Marker Code
Turkey Vulture BR


Marked Individuals Observed:
Species Color Marker Code
Turkey Vulture AY
Turkey Vulture AL



Ashley Sacco with BR, a one-year-old Turkey Vulture that we captured and wing-tagged.
Dan Varland photo.



Wing tags do not impede a Turkey Vulture's flight; they are used as markers for the species in lieu of leg bands because vultures have a habit of pooping on their legs as a cooling mechanism. Were leg bands to be used, the poop would accumulate between leg and band, leading to irritation, chafing, and potentially open wounds.
Dan Varland photo.



BR banding location- north side of Grays Harbor.



On September 8, I got a phone call from Rob Tucker of Tokeland. He had killed a Coyote and dropped it in his driveway for the local vultures (they roost in the trees on his property). That morning, Rob saw BR taking advantage of the easy meal. How did Rob know to call me? An internet search quickly led him to the Coastal Raptors website, a description of the avian scavenger research project, and my contact information.


Date: June 10, 2016
Location: North side of Grays Harbor, 3 miles west of Hoquiam.
Observers: Dan Varland, Ashley Sacco, Marcus Sacco and Amy McNeil.


Individuals Captured and Marked:
Species Color Marker Code
Turkey Vulture BX


Marked Individuals Observed:
Species Color Marker Code
Turkey Vulture AP



Ashley Sacco with BX, an adult Turkey Vulture that we captured and wing-tagged.
Dan Varland photo.



Ashley and her brother Marcus with BX.
Dan Varland photo.



With wings extended, BX catches some rays before flying off after release.
Dan Varland photo.