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Let the Peregrines Commence!

September 23, 2012

By Ted Keyel

An adult Peregrine Falcon with a full crop. Photo by Ted Keyel

We had a great day today!  Our 1,000th bird of the season passed by and was a juvenile Northern Harrier.  However, Peregrine Falcons were definitely the main attraction.  Of the 300 raptors we had pass by today, 121 were Peregrines.  There were a couple kettles with as many as seven Peregrines in them!!  Our Broad-winged Hawk numbers are also starting to pick up.  One of the seven-Peregrine kettles, also had 22 Broad-wingeds in it.

One of 4 Swallow-tailed Kites migrating over FKH on September 20, 2012. Photo by Ted Keyel.

It was also an interesting kite day.  Early in the morning, a lone Swallow-tailed Kite flew by.  However, it did not behave like all of the other Swallow-tails we have had pass by so far.  Those others have soared gently and gracefully as they passed.  This bird was in powered flight the whole time.  What a different-looking bird!  The long, split tail was still long, but no longer split.  The wings were fairly curved and swept back to a point.  We also had a pair of Mississippi Kites come by late in the afternoon.  They tried to sneak by us, but were unsuccessful.  On September 21, we put up a quiz of a subadult Mississippi Kite onto Facebook.  Today, we had another subadult and the first juvenile of the season.

Juvenile Mississippi Kite.  Photo by Ted Keyel.

Raptor numbers from the day as follows:

Osprey – 52
Bald Eagle – 1
Northern Harrier – 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk– 10
Cooper’s Hawk – 7
Red-shouldered Hawk – 2
Broad-winged Hawk  – 70
American Kestrel – 17
Merlin – 14
Peregrine Falcon – 121
Swallow-tailed Kite – 1
Mississippi Kite – 2
Total: 300

Overall for the season we are at:

Turkey Vulture – 29
Osprey – 523
Bald Eagle – 4
Northern Harrier – 70
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 25
Cooper’s Hawk – 43
Red-shouldered Hawk – 2
Broad-winged Hawk  – 92
Red-tailed Hawk – 1
Short-tailed Hawk – 4
American Kestrel – 52
Merlin – 102
Peregrine Falcon – 292
Swallow-tailed Kite – 29
Mississippi Kite – 15
Total: 1283


One Comment leave one →
  1. Mary Butterfield permalink
    September 23, 2012 11:06 pm

    Thanks for the update.

    Mary B.

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