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Mount Lorette (08 Nov 2022) 12 Raptors

Mount Lorette
Alberta, Canada

Daily Raptor Counts: Nov 08, 2022
Species Day’s Count Month Total Season Total
Turkey Vulture 0 0 0
Osprey 0 0 4
Bald Eagle 7 14 99
Northern Harrier 0 0 8
Sharp-shinned Hawk 0 0 47
Cooper’s Hawk 0 0 24
Northern Goshawk 0 1 26
Broad-winged Hawk 0 0 4
Swainson’s Hawk 0 0 0
Red-tailed Hawk 0 0 31
Ferruginous Hawk 0 0 0
Rough-legged Hawk 0 2 13
Golden Eagle 4 76 2303
American Kestrel 0 0 0
Merlin 0 0 15
Gyrfalcon 0 0 0
Peregrine Falcon 0 0 3
Prairie Falcon 0 0 4
Unknown Accipiter 0 0 14
Unknown Buteo 0 0 12
Unknown Falcon 0 0 4
Unknown Eagle 1 3 24
Unknown Raptor 0 0 11
Total: 12 96 2646
Observation start time: 09:45:00
Observation end time: 17:00:00
Total observation time: 7.25 hours
Official Counter Caroline Lambert
Observers: David Musto

In spite of the cold, 9 people in 3 groups came by and learned a bit about the eagle migration.

The count started a little later than normal due to the extreme cold – it was -29C in the parking lot at sunrise. Once the sun was above the east ridge, the temperature rose quickly, but was still a frigid -22C when the observation started. Fortunately there was almost no ground wind, so there was no wind chill, and there were also no clouds, allowing the sun to provide a welcome bit of warmth. The temperature reached a high of -13C and dropped to -15C at the end of the day. There was also not much wind at ridge level either. Occasionally wisps of snow could be seen being blown off the east ridge, but that did not seem to help the migrants much.

Raptor Observations:
Few of the migrants seen today made it above ridge level. Most appeared to come into the Fisher Range low, and laboured their way south mostly below ridge level, using powered flight. At the end of the day a few were able to find enough lift to rise above the ridge and glide.
Of the 12 migrants, 4 were Golden Eagles (2a, 2u), 7 were Bald Eagles (6a, 1sa3), and one an unidentified eagle. The relatively high number of Bald Eagles was not surprising given the sudden deep freeze – they like fish, and fishing spots are rapidly disappearing as the lakes freeze over.
One non-migrant Bald Eagle was seen heading north down the river, and one Rough-legged Hawk was hunting in the area.

Non-raptor Observations:
Several skeins of Canada Geese flew over, heading south. One flock was accompanied by 11 swans. Other than that, there was 1 Downy Woodpecker, 4 Canada Jays, 4 Common Ravens, 2 Black-capped Chickadees, 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch, 2 American Dippers, 1 Varied Thrush, and 2 Red Crossbills.
A ski trail grooming machine came by and flattened out the snow on the trail nicely, making it much easier to walk out than it had been to walk in.

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Count data submitted via Dunkadoo – [Project Details]