Date: March 13, 2020

Location: Long Beach

Observers: Dan Varland, Tony Starlight, Alex Lauber and Glenn Marquardt. 

 

Photos by Tony Starlight and Dan Varland. 

 

Raptor Count 


Bald Eagle
19 adult,  21 immature

 

 

Individuals Marked

Species Color Marker Code
Bald Eagle A/O

 

Immature Bald Eagle drying his wings. 

Immature Bald Eagle.  This one's a little closer to adulthood than the one 

shown above. 

 


Adults, likely a mated pair. The one in the foreground is banded. We were not

able to make a positive ID.

Semipalmated Plovers. Dan Varland photo. 

Sanderlings.  Dan Varland photo. 

Black-bellied Plovers.  Dan Varland photo. 

 

Bald Eagle and driftwood in silhouette at the north end of the 25-mile long 

Long Beach Peninsula.  Dan Varland photo. 

 

Common Raven feeding on a Dungeness Crab carcass.

 

Enjoying the day. Dan Varland photo. 


We managed to snare a Bald Eagle late in the survey. Alex and I gathered him

in. 

 

 

 

 

Alex secures the hood, gripping one strap with a hand and the other with 

his teeth. 

 

A hooded eagle is a calm eagle. Whew!

Alex slides boots over the feet and tightens the straps, removing the risk of 

anyone getting footed while Glenn records data.  

 

Alex holds the eagle, now with a hood, boots and a wrap known as 

an aba. 

  

Glenn, Alex and I get ready to apply the bands and take a blood sample. 

 

We chose visual ID band A/O. 

The capture and banding location at the south 

end of the 25-mile long peninsula.  

 

 

Alex applying visual ID band A/O.

I get in position to take a head measurement called "cranium"

while Alex hangs holds the eagle. 

Alex with the eagle. Measurements indicated this 

bird was a male (males the smaller gender). 

 

The eagle was transferred Tony, who then released

him. 

 

A/O flew to a nearby T-perch and promptly viewed his newly-acquired 

jewelry.  Dan Varland photo. 

 

 

He didn't stay long. 

 

Tony noticed a very appropriate whisky on the shelf at a 

local pub after the survey. 

We shared a toast to Bald Eagle A/O.

 

Date: March 2, 2020

Location: Ocean Shores 

Observers: Dan Varland,  Mary Kay Kenney, David Kenney, and Dan Miller. 

Photos by Dan Varland unless otherwise noted. 

 

Raptor Count


Bald Eagle
17 adults, 13 immatures

 

Marked Individual Observed

Species Color Marker Code
Bald Eagle M/R
Bald Eagle M/Z

 

Bald Eagles. Bald Eagles go through a series of molts leading to adult plumage. 

The process takes 3-6 years, typically 5. The eagle on the left is a one-year old

(second plumage) and the one on the right is age 2 (third plumage). Beak and 

eye color also change during this process, from brown to yellow. 

 

Sea Otter carcass. Note the tag on the rear flipper. We reported the find to the

Marine Mammal Stranding Network's Dyanna Lambourne, who asked us to

remove the tag and send it to her office in Lakewood. 

 

 

Removing the tag. David Kenney photo. 

 

A careful look reveals the number on this tag: 553. The 3 is especially hard to

make out. 

 

Bald Eagle pair. The eagle on the right wears visual ID band B/O. This eagle,

a male, was banded June 12, 2015. This is the 151st sighting of B/O since 

banding day; re-sightings show that B/O is a year-round resident of our Ocean 

Shores study area. We assume that the bird on the left is his mate. 

 

Another Bald Eagle pair. The eagle on the right wears visual ID band M/Z. 

This eagle, a female, was banded on April 20, 2018; this is the 30th sighting of 

M/Z since banding. Sighted in all seasons on the Ocean Shores study area, M/Z 

is also a year-round resident. We assume the eagle on the left is her mate. 

 

Date: March 1, 2020

Location: Long Beach. 

Observers: Dan Varland,  Mary Kay Kenney, David Kenney, Sophie 

Garcia-Heras, Deena Heg, Bob Plotnick, and Gay Jensen.

Photos by Dan Varland.

 

Bald Eagles squabble over food. 

 

One takes off with the prize.

 

Sophie photographing a Northern Fulmar carcass. She counted 49 such 

carcasses along the survey route, 5 fewer than yesterday's total.  Why so many

dead fulmars? The most likely reason is starvation due changing ocean 

conditions and a decrease in forage fish. 

 

Seizing the moment. 

 

 

 

 

 

Bald Eagle feeds on a beach-cast sea lion. We encountered many eagles during

today's survey but did not do a systematic count. 

 

Date: February 29, 2020

Location: Long Beach. 

Observers: Dan Varland,  Alex Lauber, Mary Kay Kenney, David Kenney, 

Sophie Garcia-Heras, Deena Heg, Bob Plotnick, and Gay Jensen.

Photos by Dan Varland unless otherwise noted. 

 

Raptor Count


Bald Eagle
Peregrine Falcon 
15 adults, 8 immatures, 3 age uncertain 1 adult 

 

Marked Individual Observed

Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon H/7

 

 

Beach walkers. 

Bald Eagle perched near a marine mammal carcass (far right).

 

The eagle was banded, but only on one leg and only with a USGS band (no

visual ID band, but this eagle likely has been resighted...read on!).

 

Ocean Shores photographer Pat Hayes photographed the same eagle on March 

6 and 7, 32 miles further north on the Ocean Shores study area.  

 

Photographing the band from different angles, Pat was able to read all 

numbers on the band: 1098-02658. He shared the band number with me. I 

submitted the the band number, species, date and location information online to

the US Bird Banding Lab. That same day, March 7, I received the response below. 

The eagle, a male, was banded as a nestling not far from the US-Canada 

border near Delta, British Columbia. The report indicates he hatched in 2017 

so that means he'll be 3 years old this spring. 

 

 

And the story doesn't stop there. During a survey of the Long Beach study area

on June 12, 2019 we came across a Bald Eagle with a single leg band. The

photo above and the one below were taken by Tom Rowley that day in June. 

We were able to identify only the first 5 digits on the band: 1098-0. In all 

likelihood, this is the same eagle. It's interesting to note his change in plumage

as well as eye and beak color in just under 9 months.  

 

Bald Eagle pair. We identified the eagle on the right was one that had been 

banded by Coastal Raptors.

 

We were unable to read the band code from photos. Switching to a 

spotting scope, we found this was M/R, a male captured and banded 

by Coastal Raptors on April 12, 2012. 

 

M/R's bands on capture day. 

Avian veterinarian Scott Ford and Larry Warwick with M/R in 2012. Our 

sighting on February 29 was the 21st since banding. They reveal M/R is a year-

round resident of the north end of the Long Beach Peninsula.

 

Rain shower. 

 

I get a photo of a sleet shower at the north end of the peninsula.  

Deena Heg photo. 

 

Rain, sleet, then sun! David Kenney captures the beauty in photo and video. 

 

David Kenney photo.

 

Northern Fulmar. We counted 54 fulmar carcasses on the 25-mile long survey

route.

 

Many of the carcasses were partially eaten, a sign of scavenging. Here a Bald 

Eagle carries a carcass, most likely a fulmar.  Deena Heg photo. 

 

Banded Peregrine Falcon scavenging a Northern Fulmar carcass. This was H/7,

a falcon banded by Coastal Raptors on November 11, 2012. Banded as a first-

year bird in 2012, she's now 7 years old.  Deena Heg photo. 

 

Surprisingly, Coastal Raptors research has shown that scavenging is a relatively 

common feeding strategy used by Peregrine Falcons on the Washington coast.  

For a research publication on this topic, go to Research\Publications on the 

Coastal Raptors website and look for the title "Scavenging as a Food-Acquisition 

Strategy by Peregrine Falcons". Deena Heg photo. 

 

Today's sighting of H/7 was 2 miles north of her banding location; this was the

13th sighting since banding.

 

Date: February 28, 2020

Location: Ocean Shores

Observers: Dan Varland, Tom Rowley, David Kenney, Mary Kay Kenney and Dianna Moore. 

All photos by Tom Rowley.

 

 

Raptor Count


Bald Eagle
10 adults, 2 immatures

Raven with a morsel. He was looking for a handout at the start of the survey

so I tossed him one! 

 

 

 

 

Dianna Moore crossing Conner Creek north of Ocean Shores. 

David Kenney secures a tow line. Just after crossing the creek, Dianna ran 

out of gas!. We pulled Dianna's vehicle to a safe location above the high tide 

line, then called Pat Hayes who  kindly drove out from Ocean Shores with a 

can of gas. 

 

 

Date: February 17, 2020

Location: Westport, Washington

Observers: Dan Varland,  Dave Murnen, and Tom Rowley. 

All photos by Tom Rowley.

Gyrfalcon. Today's capture was actually a re-capture. Coastal 

Raptors first captured, banded, and issue-sampled this one-year 

old female on February 9 (see Feb 9 entry below). That day we 

applied a red visual ID band numbered 8, afterwards realizing that 

we had used the same red 8 on a Gyrfalcon that we banded in 2006. 

Given the possibility that the first red 8 could still be alive, we decided 

try and recapture her so as not to have the potential for two red 8's out 

and about. 

The plastic band was removed with a Dremel saw. 

 

Applying glue to the new band: blue 8. 

 

 

Date: February 13, 2020

Location: Grayland

Observers: Dan Varland,  Andre Botha, Dan Miller and Susan Burchardt. 

 

Raptor Count


Bald Eagle

Peregrine Falcon
3 adults, 1 immature 1 immature

 

 

 

We had a special guest on today's survey: Andre Botha from South Africa! Andre 

is wildlife biologist with South Africa's Endangered Wildlife Trust The focus of

Andre's work in recent years has been training African wildlife biologists and 

wildlife managers the techniques for responding to wildlife poisonings, especially

vultures. Andre traveled to Seattle to make a presentation at the American 

Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Seattle. He took 

time out of his busy schedule for a visit and to join us on a survey. In 2017 and 

2018, Andre and I worked together planning the 2018 Raptor Research Foundation 

conference, which was held Kruger National Park, South Africa. Andre chaired 

the local planning committee while I chaired the Raptor Research Foundation 

conference committee. Susan Burchardt photo. 

 

Andre and me at Westport's Westhaven State Park after the survey,  with 

Westport's Half Moon Bay in the background. We stopped in to look for the G

Gyrfalcon that Coastal Raptors had banded on February 9. Unfortunately, she

was nowhere to be seen. Susan Burchardt photo. 

 

Date: February 9, 2020

Location: Westport, Washington

Observers: Dan Varland,  Dave Murnen, and Maranda Beerbower. 

All photos by Dan Varland. 

We captured and banded this Gyrfalcon, a one-year old female, inside the city 

limits of Westport, Washington. Gyrfalcons are rare winter residents to 

Washington. This one is just the 8th I've banded in 25 years of research on

the Washington coast. 

 

The Gyrfalcon is a bird of the North. This map of Gyrfalcon range is from taken

Handbook of the Birds of the World, Vol. 2; yellow denotes "breeding visitor",

blue "winter visitor" and green "year-round resident". 

 

A close look at the Gyrfalcon's back reveals a few brown

feathers remaining from her first-year brown plumage. It

was the presence of these feathers that allowed us to identify

her as a one-year old.  

 

 


Date: February 2, 2020

Location: Long Beach

Observers: Dan Varland,  Scott Horton, Meagan Campbell, Brian Campbell, 

Hankyu Kim, Glenn Marquardt, Pat Tollefson, Charlotte Killien and Tom 

O'Hara. 

 

 

Raptor Count


Bald Eagle

Red-tailed Hawk

Peregrine Falcon

Northern Harrier
14 adults,
10 immatures,
2 age uncertain
2 age uncertain 1 adult 1 age uncertain

 

Marked Individuals Observed

Species Color Marker Code
Bald Eagle M/R
Peregrine Falcon   R/7

 

Scott Horton measures wind speed at Ocean Park, half-way north along the

Long Beach Peninsula. Hankyu Kim photo. 

Peregrine Falcon with visual ID band R/7. Coastal Raptors banded this falcon

on the Long Beach Peninsula on January 14, 2019. This was the 5th sighting

of R/7 since banding, all have been on the Long Beach Peninsula.  Hankyu 

Kim photo.

Hankyu Kim photo. 


Practicing putting. Dan Varland photo. 

Bald Eagle with visual ID band M/R. Coastal Raptors banded this eagle on 

April 12, 2012. This was the 21st sighting of this eagle since banding; all have

been on the Long Beach Peninsula. Hankyu Kim photo. 

Meagan Campbell measures wind speed at the north end of the Long Beach

Peninsula. Hankyu Kim photo. 

 

Bad Form: This was far too close an approach. 

 

Date: February 1, 2020

Location: Long Beach

Observers: Dan Varland,  Scott Horton, Meagan Campbell, Brian Campbell, 

Hankyu Kim, Glenn Marquardt, Pat Tollefson, and Charlotte Boulais.

 


Raptor Count


Bald Eagle

Merlin
20 adults, 17 immatures 1 age uncertain

 

 

Meagan Campbell recording survey data on the

drive north.  

 

Brandt. 

 

 

At 5.2 miles north of the survey start, we saw a Harbor Seal carcass being 

scavenged by Bald Eagles and and Common Ravens. Dan Varland photo.  

 

Dan Varland photo. 

 

Feeding the gulls. 

Bad Form: Far too close! Dan Varland photo.  

 

Date: January 25, 2020

Location: Ocean Shores

Observers: Dan Varland, Jake Burroughs, Virginia Molenaar and Jule Monnens. 

Photos by Dan Varland. 

 

Raptor Count


Bald Eagle

Peregrine Falcon
10 adults, 8 immatures 1 adult

 

Adult Bald Eagle.  

Immature Bald Eagle...

...standing near the water's edge on a rising tide. 

Surf fishing. 

Selfie time!

 

Date: January 24, 2020

Location: Grayland

Observers: Dan Varland, Tom Rowley, Dave Murnen and Mary O'Neil. 

Photos by Tom Rowley

 

Raptor Count


Bald Eagle

Peregrine Falcon
10 adults, 12 immatures 1 adult

 

Bald Eagle pair. The eagle on the left is banded. We could only get a partial 

read on the band: the lower code was a "2". That would be enough to identify

this individual, except that 4 of the 35 Bald Eagles we've banded have a "2" 

below. This bird may be A/2, B/2, D/2 or K/2.

Dave Murnen with a 6-year old female Peregrine 

Falcon captured today.

Well worn bands. This was Z/U, a peregrine that Coastal Raptors had banded 

on the Grayland beach on March 1, 2015. She was nearly two years old at the

time. 

 

Z/U was quite calm until we removed her hood, just before release. 

 

 

 

 

 

Ring-necked Pheasant in the dunes. 

We counted 15 Bald Eagles - 4 adults and 11 immatures - at a marine mammal 

carcass. There were some disputes over who should feed when. 

 

 

 

Date: January 2, 2020

Location: Ocean Shores

Observers: Dan Varland,  Jake Burroughs, Bill Morgan and Dianna Moore. 

Photos by Dan Varland. 

 

Raptor Count


Bald Eagle

Merlin

Peregrine Falcon

Northern Harrier
7 adults, 4 immatures 1 age uncertain 3 adults 1 age uncertain

 

 

Marked Individual Observed

Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon 35/B
Peregrine Falcon  21/B

 

 

We recaptured an already-banded Peregrine Falcon, 21/B, 

to obtain blood and feather samples. Coastal Raptors banded

this one-year old female on May 20, 2019 one-half mile 

south of today's location. 

 

 

 

Jake Burroughs maneuvered his hand to keep the falcon's head up and away 

from his fingers. She drew blood, as you can see, in this photo and another in 

this series. Yikes!

21/B had completed her molt into her adult plumage. 

 

Our encounter today was the second since 21/B was banded. 

The first was by Ocean Shores photographer Pat Hayes on 

October 12, 2019. 

Peregrine Falcon 35/B, a one-year old female that Coastal Raptors banded on 

October 30, 2018. She's been resighted 27 times since banding; we recaptured

her on November 1, 2019 to obtain blood and feather samples. 

 

Date: December 14, 2019

Location: Ocean Shores

Observers: Dan Varland,  Denny Hieronymus, Kat Bryant, Jake Burroughs and Dan Miller. 

Photos by Dan Varland. 

 

Raptor Count 


Bald Eagle

Peregrine Falcon
6 adults, 3 immatures 1 immature

 


Individuals Marked

Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon 26/B

 

 

Marked Individuals Observed

Species Color Marker Code
Bald Eagle M/Z


First-year female Peregrine Falcon we captured north of Ocean Shores. 

The bands. 

 

 

Practicing martial arts at...temperature in the 40s!

Bald Eagle with visual identification band M/Z. Coastal Raptors banded this

eagle on April 20, 2018. 

Dunlin. 

Dunlin. 

Date: December 5, 2019

Location: Ocean Shores

Observers: Dan Varland,  Sandra Miller and Tom Rowley

Photos by Dan Varland. 

 

Raptor Count 


Bald Eagle

Peregrine Falcon
6 adults, 1 immature 1 adult, 1 immature

 

 

Marked Individuals Observed

Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon 35/B
Bald Eagle  B/O

 


Bald Eagle with visual ID band B/O. B/O was banded on June 12, 2015. Ours

is the 136th sighting since he was banded; all have been on the Ocean Shores 

study area. 

 

One-year-old Bald Eagle. 

 

Adult Bald Eagles perched on wooden salmon. 

Least Sandpipers.