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Mount Lorette (02 Apr 2024) 12 Raptors

Mount Lorette
Alberta, Canada

Daily Raptor Counts: Apr 02, 2024
Species Day’s Count Month Total Season Total
Turkey Vulture 0 0 0
Osprey 0 0 0
Bald Eagle 2 5 64
Northern Harrier 0 0 0
Sharp-shinned Hawk 0 1 2
Cooper’s Hawk 0 0 0
American Goshawk 0 0 2
Broad-winged Hawk 0 0 0
Swainson’s Hawk 0 0 0
Red-tailed Hawk 1 7 10
Ferruginous Hawk 0 0 1
Rough-legged Hawk 0 1 5
Golden Eagle 8 43 1628
American Kestrel 0 0 0
Merlin 0 0 3
Gyrfalcon 0 0 0
Peregrine Falcon 0 0 0
Prairie Falcon 0 0 0
Unknown Accipiter 1 1 1
Unknown Buteo 0 1 3
Unknown Falcon 0 0 0
Unknown Eagle 0 0 13
Unknown Raptor 0 0 0
Total: 12 59 1732
Observation start time: 06:00:00
Observation end time: 19:00:00
Total observation time: 11.5 hours
Official Counter Caroline Lambert
Observers: Lynette MacCulloch

Seven people stopped to inquire about the count.

The temperature started at 4C, rose to 11C, and had only dropped to 10C at the end of the count. Altostratus and cumulus clouds dominated the sky all day, ranging from 50% coverage to 90%. Some lenticular clouds were east of Lorette in the morning, but moved off to the east before noon. The cumulus clouds were moving very fast from the west. Ground winds started out light and variable, but by noon it was gusting to over 30 kph from the southwest, and built from there. The strongest gust recorded at the site was over 70 kph, up into the knock-the-humans-off-balance strength. The wind did not die down before departure. With such strong gusty wind at ground level, and clouds racing across the sky, the ridge winds were likely over 100 kph. We know from when the weather station on the top of Nakiska was working that the eagles do not seem to like flying in such conditions, and that seemed to be the case today with low numbers of migrants.

Raptor Observations:
The first Golden Eagle was not seen until after 2pm, and in the next four hours only seven more were seen (2a, 2sa, 4u), all flying very high and very fast from the east ridge to Lorette, most clearing Lorette by several binocular views. No migrants were seen on the west ridge. Two Bald Eagles (1sa3, 1wb1) were seen following the same route. Early in the day a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk was seen heading north.
Several non-migrant Golden Eagles (possibly multiple sightings of one or two individuals) were seen at times during the day, seemingly struggling with the gusty winds. One adult Red-tailed Hawk was hunting over Hummingbird Plume in the morning before the wind picked up, and there were two sightings of American Goshawks, also battling the wind.

Non-raptor Observations:
Non-raptors were plentiful in the morning: Canada Goose 2, Pileated Woodpecker 1, Northern Shrike 1, Common Raven 7, Black-capped Chickadee 3, Mountain Chickadee 2, Boreal Chickadee 1, Red-breasted Nuthatch 1, Brown Creeper 1, Varied Thrush 2, American Robin 8, Bohemian Waxwing 12, Dark-eyed Junco 4

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