Author: Dan Varland

  • Misfits – Incorrectly Fit Harnesses Led to Turkey Vultures Shedding Their Transmitters!

    When a Turkey Vulture’s transmitter is sending signals from the same location hour after hour, it’s an indication that either the bird has died or he/she has rid themselves of the unit. We feared the worst when signals from the transmitters on vultures Amelia, Caeden and Glenn – shown below – weren’t changing locations. With […]

  • Third Turkey Vulture Sheds a Transmitter!

    April 29, 2023 Coastal Raptors attached a transmitter and a wing-tag to a Turkey Vulture at the Ocean Shores Municipal Airport. Afterwards GPS fixes indicated that this vulture, with tag ID CM and named Caeden, had moved to forestland three miles northeast of the airport. Telemetry signals showed his presence there up to May 11, […]

  • Shoalwater DNR Locates Vulture-Shed Transmitter!

    April 30, 2023. Ocean Shores Muncipal Airport. Coastal Raptors trapped a Turkey Vulture for a research project on the movement ecology of this very important scavenger species (for an overview of the study, go to Turkey Vulture Tracking). Trouble began one week afterward. At the time of her May 20 observation, Cyndie was conducting a […]

  • You Win Some, You Loose Some

    April 29, 2023: Ocean Shores Muncipal Airport Coastal Raptors began monitoring the health of avian scavengers on the Pacific coast in 2011. This effort involves capturing Bald Eagles, Turkey Vultures and Common Ravens for tissue sampling ahead of lab tests for pathogen and contaminant exposure. This day we trapped a Bald Eagle with a severe […]

  • Is This Your Bird?

    On May 1, 2023 I received an email from David Estroff of Gig Harbor, Washington with “Is this your bird” as the subject. I knew immediately that his email was going to be about a banded bird. I hoped that it would be one of mine and it was! David was birding on Grays Harbor […]

  • To a Career in Wildlife Science and Conservation

    My wife Sue and I spent the last week of February in Tucson, Arizona. A highlight of that visit for me was presenting a seminar at the University of Arizona’s school of natural resources, the title of which was Reflections on a Career in Wildlife Science and Conservation – 30 Years and Counting. I was […]

  • Artist Emily Ritter

    In 2021 Emily earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Pennsylvania’s Millersville University where she focused on animal behavior and minored in studio art. After graduation Emily took temporary work in wildlife conservation before completing an internship at the Pennsylvania-based Hawk Mountain Sanctuary; she moved to western Washington late in December of 2022. While an […]

  • Turkey Vulture Amelia Slips Transmitter, Soars Free!

    On August 4, 2022 Jake Burroughs, Sandra Miller and I trapped a Turkey Vulture for the Coastal Raptors Turkey Vulture Tracking research project. We fitted that vulture with a transmitter and wing-tag EA. Captured at the Ocean Shores, Washington airport, we named this one Amelia after famed aviator Amelia Earhart. (Vultures cannot be sexed by […]

  • The Fishing Line Threat

    On April 4, 2020 Ocean Shores photographer Pat Hayes gave me a call, indicating that a Bald Eagle was dead on the beach north of Ocean Shores. I drove to the closest access road and found the way blocked to vehicle traffic due to the pandemic. Thinking that my research permit from Washington State Parks […]

  • Peregrine Falcon 32/B – The Gray Ghost!

    Dave Murnen, Jake Burroughs, Tom Rowley and I conducted a raptor survey on October 13, 2022 on the Ocean Shores beach that was remarkable in two ways. It was the first time to band three Peregrine Falcons during the same survey. And, for just the second time in 27 years, a Peregrine Falcon showing leucism […]