Date: November 18, 2017
Location: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dale Larson, Albert Watters, and Nicholas Moir.


Raptor Count

Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon
4 adults, 1 immature 2 immatures

 

 

Marked Individuals Observed

Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon Z/P
Peregrine Falcon S/6


Peregrine Falcon Z/P, a first-year female banded by Coastal Raptors on 

November 3, 2017.  Dan Varland photo. 

 

Peregrine Falcon S/6, a one-year old Peregrine Falcon banded by Coastal

Raptors on October 28, 2016.  Dan Varland photo. 

 


Shark! Dale Larson photo. 



Nicholas Moir and I bag the shark to use as bait in trapping avian scavengers. Dale Larson photo.  



Dale Larson photo.


Date: November 4, 2017
Location: Grayland
Observers: Dan Varland, Dave Murnen, Mike Villarreal, and Asai Villareal. 

 Comments: All photos by Dan Varland. 

 

Raptor Count

Bald Eagle Short-eared Owl
1 adult, 1 immature

 


Bald Eagle. 



European Starlings foraging in eel grass.





Short-eared Owl! In 22 years and more than 1,000 surveys, this is only the 

second time we've encountered this beautiful species!


He (or she!) took a short flight and landed again. 

 



Date: November 3, 2017
Location: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Kerry Marl, Stephanie Estrella and Susan Burchardt. 

Comments: All photos by Dan Varland. 

 

 

 

 

Raptor Count

Peregrine Falcon
2 immatures

 

Individuals Marked

Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon Z/P
Peregrine Falcon Z/B

 

First-year female we captured and banded with visual identification band Z/B.

 

Susan Burchardt with Z/B. 

 

Z/B relaxing before release. 

 

Dunlin.

Girl with a razor clam shell, traveling in style!

Surf fishing. 

This was one of those rare occasions where we captured and banded two 

falcons on the same morning. This falcon, another first-year female, got visual 

identification band Z/P.

 

Stephanie Estrella with Z/P just before release. 

 

 

Date: October 30, 2017
Location: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, KerryMarl, Dan Miller and Sandra Miller. 


Raptor Count

Bald Eagle Northern Harrier Merlin Cooper's Hawk

4 adults

2 (age uncertain) 1 (age uncertain)
1 immature

 

Photographer Tim Boyer captures the sunrise. Dan Varland photo. 

Bicycle repair time, mid-beach. Dan Varland photo. 

Sanderlings at rest. Dan Varland photo. 

 

Dan Varland photo. 

 

 

First-year Peregrine Falcon feeding.  Dan Varland photo. 

 

The falcon's crop was very full!  Dan Varland photo. 

 

A closer look revealed that the food item was a scaup. Dan Varland photo.

A great way to travel the on the coast. Dan Varland photo. 

 

Date: October 29, 2017
Location: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Alex Pavlinovic, Rich Vroman, Claire Sides, Charlotte Killien, Steve Adams, Brenda Adams.

Comments: All photos by Dan Varland. 

 

Raptor Count

Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon
9 adults 1 immature

 

 

Individuals Marked

Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon E/7

 

Fully relaxed!  

 

Crows and gulls picking over discarded Dungeness Crab. Dan Varland photo. 

A closer look revealed that one of the crows had avian pox. 

  

We captured and banded a one-year-old female Peregrine Falcon. What a

beautiful bird!  

Claire Sides holds on while Evergreen State College student

Alex Pavlinovic applies the bands.   

 

 



Steve and Brenda Adams happened upon us during our 

effort to capture the falcon. They stayed with us through

capture, processing, and release. 

 

 

Alex with E/7 just before release.  

 

A pair of Bald Eagles, with the larger female holding on to breakfast!  

Two young pups off leash, enjoying life. 

The dog owners, chatting it up not far away! 

 

Date: October 22, 2017
Location: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Virginia Molenaar, Dave Murnen, Kerry Marl and Dianna Moore.

 

Raptor Count

Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon
1 adult 2 immatures, 1 age uncertain

 

 

Individuals Marked

Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon V/8

 

Western Gull with a Leach's Storm-Petrel. We saw two gulls with petrels during 

the survey. Dan Varland photo. 

We saw a Leach's Storm Petrel standing on the sand. It flew a short distance 

at our approach, then landed. A pelagic species, clearly this individual and the 

two we saw in the clutches of gulls came ashore in distress, cause unknown. 

Dan Varland photo. 

  

First-year male Peale's Peregrine Falcon we captured and banded today.

Virginia Molenaar photo. 

Dan Varland photo. 

Dan Varland photo. 

 

Virginia Molenaar photo. 

Getting ready for the blood draw.  Virginia Molenaar photo. 

A small amount of the whole blood will go to the Genetics Resources 

Collection at the University of Washington for genetics research.  The rest will 

go to the Washington State University Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab for 

testing for highly pathogenic avian influenza.  Virginia Molenaar photo. 

 

Gulls perch for Cheetos. Dan Varland. 

 

Date: October 10, 2017
Location: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Tom Rowley, Glenn Marquardt, Bob Plotnick, and Gay Jensen. 

Comments: All photos by Tom Rowley. 

 

Raptor Count

Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon
9 adults 2 immature, 2 age uncertain

 

Individuals Marked

Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon B/6




Northern Harrier over the dunes.



The harrier was flying south, taking time to hunt along the way. We saw him 

pursue several birds while we followed him south in our vehicle; each time he

was unsuccessful. 


A flock of Black-bellied Plover flew beside our vehicle briefly, then crossed in 

front of us and settled onto the sand at the water's edge. 



Pacific Golden Plover. We have not noticed this species during surveys over the 

years, though coastal Washington is the migration path of many. They breed in

western Alaska and all across Siberia. I've seen these plovers while I've been 

on winter vacation in Hawaii, and so has Tom Rowley. While we of course 

arrived by jet, the plovers flew themselves, a nonstop journey over the Pacific 

Ocean of 2,800 miles!



 


Sanderling.


Gay with our catch of the day!


First-year female peregrine of the coastal subspecies, Falco peregrinus pealei.


The red band is the USGS band. The color denotes the falcon was banded on 

the Long Beach Peninsula. The green band is the visual identification band. 

Green indicates this individual was assigned the coastal subspecies, F.p. pealei.


 

Measuring the cranium. 

 

The falcon's overall dark plumage, the spotted cheek patch, and a few key 

measurements indicated this individual was the coastal subspecies. Nearly 80% 

(168 of 212) of all peregrines we've captured on the beaches since the research 

began in 1995 have been assigned the Peale's subspecies. Peale's peregrines nest 

on the Pacific coast in Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, and, to a lesser 

extent, Oregon. Some overwinter on their breeding grounds but many come south

where we have the opportunity to capture and band them during migration 

or over-wintering. 

 

We collected the distal ends of the 4th secondary feathers and one 4th primary

feather for contaminants and natal origins research. 

 

Bob Plotnick with B/6 just before release. 

 

 

B/6 flying north. The net from our net launcher is visible below and to the right

of the fleeing falcon. We made an attempt to capture her with the launcher, then

resorted to more conventional methods when our attempt failed. 

 

Date: October 9, 2017

Location: Long Beach

Observers: Dan Varland, Tom Rowley, Glenn Marquardt, Bob Plotnick, Gay Jensen and Charlotte Killien. 

Comments: All photos by Tom Rowley. 


Individuals Marked

Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon P/E

 


Gay Jensen, Bob Plotnick and me with a first-year female Peregrine Falcon

we captured and banded on the beach north of Ocean Park. 



We applied a black-over-blue visual identification band P/E to this falcon. 

Black/blue is reserved for falcons of the tundra subspecies, the anatum subspecies 

and falcons where subspecies designation is unclear. 

 

Based on plumage and measurements, we assigned this falcon to the tundra 

subspecies, Falco peregrinus tundrius. Only 5% (11 of 212) of the Peregrine 

Falcons we have captured on the beaches over the years have been assigned the 

tundra subspecies designation. 

 

Blonde feathers on the head are characteristic of tundra peregrines. 

 

Tundra peregrines are the smallest of the three North American

subspecies. The wing chord measurement (shown here) and 

others we took were characteristic of tundra peregrines.  

 

Back feathers (scapulars) of tundra peregrines are blonde-edged,evident from

this view. 



Charlotte records the falcon's body mass.


I help Charlotte with the record keeping!


Glenn takes the cranium measurement.



Date: September 21, 2017
Location: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Rocio Crespo, Sara Packebush, Nick Larson, Lance Kidder, 

Erik Walker, Glenn Marquardt and Dianna Moore. 


Raptor Count

Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon
2 adults 2 adults, 1 immature

 

 

Individuals Marked

Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon M/8


 

Marked Individuals Observed

Species Color Marker Code
Common Raven ROYLGS



Pausing for a photo on the jetty at Ocean Shores, left to right, are Lance Kidder, 

Erik Walker, Nick Larson and Sara Packebush. All are Washington State 

University Veterinary Medicine students, participating in today's survey through

the department's avian rotation program. Dan Varland photo. 



Selfie time! 



We ran across a California Sea Lion carcass. Photos of the

the carcass and its location will be submitted to the Marine 

Mammal Stranding Network. Dan Varland photo. 

 


Bald Eagle with breakfast remnants, hanging around! Dan Varland photo. 



Whimbrel. Dan Varland photo. 



Cormorant near the water's edge. Dan Varland photo. 

 


Black-tailed Deer.  Dan Varland photo. 



Peregrine Falcon, a first year male, captured! We used the net launcher to catch

him. Rocio Crespo photo. 

 


Rocio Crespo photo.  



With the falcon free from the net and safely in hand, 

Sara offers a thumbs up! Rocio Crespo photo. 

 


Washington State University Professor of Veterinary Medicine and avian 

rotation program coordinator Rocio Crespo offers advice on the blood sampling 

process. Dan Varland photo. 



Erik with our peregrine, now bearing visual identification band M/8. Dan 

Varland photo. 



Dan Varland photo.  


Dan Varland photo. 



Harbor Porpoise carcass. Dan Varland photo. 

 


Nick and Erik bag the porpoise for transfer to the Marine Mammal Stranding 

Network personnel for necropsy. Dan Varland photo. 



Sara measures wind speed and direction. Dan Varland photo. 



We ran across ROYLGS, a Common Raven Coastal Raptors banded on April

23, 2014. Dan Varland photo. 



ROYLGS:R=right,O=orange,Y=yellow;L=left;G=gray,S=silver. In re-observations

of ROYLGS over the last year or so, we had not noticed the gray band on the left

leg so it really threw me to see the gray band today. Dan Varland photo.  

 


My confusion was resolved when I took a close look at photos of ROYLGS 

taken by Dianna Moore on February 19, 2017. In her photo above and the 

closeup below you can see that the gray band had slipped over the silver USGS 

band, thereby making the two bands appear as one. Dianna Moore photo. 



The gray band over the silver USGS band. Dan Varland photo. 

 


 

Date: September 16, 2017
Location: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dan Miller, Dianna Moore and Nicholas Moir. 

 

Raptor Count

Peregrine Falcon
1 adult

 


Marked Individuals Observed

Species Color Marker Code
Common Raven ROYLGS
Peregrine Falcon S/6

 

Two Common Ravens feed at a carcass, one is banded. Dan Varland photo.

 

Turns out Coastal Raptors banded this raven, a female, at Ocean Shores on 

April 23, 2014; this is the 18th re-sighting of ROYLGS.  ROYLEGS: R=right

leg, O=orange; Y=yellow; L=left leg, G=green (band removed!), S=silver.

Dan Varland photo.

 

Female Peregrine with visual ID band S/6 packing a Common Flicker. This 

photo was taken by Ocean Shores photographer Steve Hill, also known as the 

"Eagle Whisperer". Steve captured this image on the beach at Ocean Shores 

on September 14, two days before our survey.  

 

Aware of Steve's encounter on September 14, we were on the lookout for S/6. 

We were able to locate and capture her; when possible, we re-capture peregrines

we've banded once a year to obtain blood and feather samples. S/6 was banded 

on the Ocean Shores beach by Coastal Raptors on October 28, 2016. Today 

marks the 7th re-observation since banding. Nicholas Moir photo. 

 

 

Nicholas Moir photo. 

 

S/6 perched comfortably after release.  Dan Varland photo.

 

Dan Varland photo.

 

By the way, we saw the driftwood bush where S/6 perched after release wash 

ashore during a survey on February 20, 2017. Dan Varland photo.

 

Dan Varland photo.

 


 

Date: September 11, 2017
Location: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Scott Horton; Rick and Susan Harness. 

 

 

Raptor Count 

Bald Eagle Turkey Vulture
1 adult 5 (2 adults, 1 immature, 2 age uncertain)

 

 

Marked Individuals Observed

Species Color Marker Code
Common Raven RSYLOG

 

With anemometer and compass in hand, I get wind speed and direction at the 

beginning of the survey. Wind was light, 1.4 miles/hour from the northwest. 

Rick Harness photo. 

 

 

Survey photographers. Rick Harness and Dan Varland. 

Susan Harness photo. 

 

Marbled Godwit. Rick Harness photo. 

 

Immature gull.  Rick Harness photo.  

 

Dan Varland photo. 

 

Dan Varland photo. 


Dan Varland photo. 


Dan Varland photo. 


Common Raven at Black-tailed Deer carcass. Rick Harness photo. 

 

Turkey Vulture at gull carcass. Rick Harness photo. 

 

An immature Turkey Vulture (dark head) awaits his turn while an adult feeds.

Dan Varland photo.

 

The adult tells the youngster to back off! Dan Varland photo. 

 

And he does! Dan Varland photo. 

 

He gets his turn eventually. Dan Varland photo. 

 

Caspian Terns. Rick Harness photo. 

 

We documented three color banded Caspian Terns on the survey. This tern

is 14 years old, banded as a chick on East Sand Island near Ilwaco in 2003. 

Thanks go to Yasuko Suzuki for providing this information; Suzuko is a post-

doctoral research associate at Oregon State University where Caspian Tern

research has been ongoing for many years. Dan Varland photo.

 

The bird AND the bands look great, considering their age!

 

 

Here I share a few photos of the oldest banded Peregrine Falcon on record in 

the Coastal Raptors banding effort. The effort dates back to 1995 with more than

200 peregrines banded on the coastal beaches. The photos are courtesy of Ernie 

Pacholuk. This is V/M, a female we banded in her first year on the Grayland beach, 

January 22, 2003. She's 14 years old, the same age as the  aforementioned tern. 

Ernie photographed her on April 2, 2017, 21 miles northwest of Victoria.

 

Her bands are looking pretty good!

 

And she's looking even better!

 

V/M was photographed again by Ernie on April 9, 2017 with a mouse. Ernie 

and I suspect she was nesting nearby. 

 

Another banded tern. This one 10 years of age. Dan Varland photo.

 

Blowing sand can make it difficult to read bands!

 

A female Common Raven we banded June 78, 2013. RSYLOG; R=right; 

S=silver;Y=yellow; L=left; O=orange; G=gray. Rick Harness photo. 

 

RSYLOG talks with two other ravens which we suspect were her young of 

the year. Rick Harness photo. 

 

Snowy Plover. Rick Harness photo.

 

Rick Harness photo. 

 

North end of the Long Beach Peninsula, with Sue Harness enjoying the view.

Rick Harness photo. 

 

Joining Scott Horton and me for the survey from Fort Collins, Colorado, Rick 

and Sue Harness pause for a photo. Dan Varland photo.

 


 

Date: September 5, 2017
Location: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Tony Starlight, and Sandra Miller.

Comments: All photos by Dan Varland.

 

Raptor Count

Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon Osprey Turkey Vulture
1 adult 1 immature 2 age uncertain 1 age uncertain

 

Individuals Marked

Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon S/8

 

 

Caspian Tern with visual identification bands. We saw six others with visual 

ID bands during the survey, and will report the sighting information (band color

combinations, date, sighting locations) to the federal Bird Banding Lab. 

 

The Caspian in the middle of this photo is banded, but does not wear visual ID

bands.  

 

A Common Tern (foreground) and Caspian Tern face into the south wind. 

 

Five on  a walk.

 

One on a log.

 

First-year male Peale's Peregrine Falcon we captured 19 miles north.

 

Tony Starlight applying the visual identification band, S/8.

 

Nice job, Tony!

 

 

 

Brown Pelicans, immatures to the left. 

 

Sandra reads up on Sooty Shearwaters in the Sibley guide while Tony scopes 

them out several hundred yards off shore. 

 

A Sooty Shearwater off the northwest Olympic Peninsula. I took this photo

during a fishing trip on September 4, the day before our raptor survey at Long 

Beach. 

 

The fishing was great. Here I am with a Rock Fish, one of

24 we caught. 

 

Skipper Scott Horton with a keeper Rock Fish.