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Mount Lorette (15 Apr 2023) 28 Raptors

Mount Lorette
Alberta, Canada

Daily Raptor Counts: Apr 15, 2023
Species Day’s Count Month Total Season Total
Turkey Vulture 0 0 0
Osprey 0 0 0
Bald Eagle 6 38 124
Northern Harrier 0 1 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk 0 6 6
Cooper’s Hawk 0 4 4
Northern Goshawk 0 9 20
Broad-winged Hawk 0 0 0
Swainson’s Hawk 0 0 0
Red-tailed Hawk 7 13 14
Ferruginous Hawk 0 0 0
Rough-legged Hawk 0 2 4
Golden Eagle 9 297 1736
American Kestrel 0 1 1
Merlin 0 3 4
Gyrfalcon 0 0 0
Peregrine Falcon 0 0 0
Prairie Falcon 0 0 0
Unknown Accipiter 2 3 5
Unknown Buteo 0 0 1
Unknown Falcon 0 1 1
Unknown Eagle 2 9 19
Unknown Raptor 2 2 2
Total: 28 389 1942
Observation start time: 06:00:00
Observation end time: 19:30:00
Total observation time: 13.5 hours
Official Counter Annie Finch
Observers: Caroline Lambert, Glenn Webber

About 50 people stopped to talk about the count. We were lucky to have help from Jessica and Sophie.

The morning began clear and still at -1C. Snow blowing off the peaks of the surrounding mountains indicated strong winds from the west. Ground winds increased gradually throughout the day. By mid afternoon the temperature had risen to 5C and winds were over 10 km/h with some stronger gusts. A layer of high cirrus clouds thickened almost imperceptibly throughout the day to a solidly overcast sky by early evening. Ground winds disappeared at about the same time we lost the sun behind the mountains which made for a relatively warm end to the day.

Raptor Observations:
******* CORRECTED VERSION ******* Due to a data glitch, the numbers in the table above were not correct at time of submission. *********************************
Migrant Raptors: 9 Golden Eagles (5a, 1s, 3u), 6 Bald Eagles (2a, 1si/ii, 2siii, 1u), 7 Red-tailed Hawks (5 adults, 2 dark/intermediate adults), 2 unidentified eagles, 2 unidentified (small) accipiters, 2 unidentified raptors.
Migrants struggled all day to find an easy way north. High winds from the west blew snow off the peaks most of the day, but did not seem to be providing steady lift. Likewise, some thermal lift was in evidence, but did not seem to provide consistent aid to the raptors. Both ridges were active for most of the day. Some migrants flew over the valley itself, or were only spotted to the north. After 5pm all migrant raptors were observed to the east of the site. A handful of small migrating raptors were spotted; unfortunately, all eluded the principle observer and were otherwise unidentifiable.
Non-migrant Raptors: 2 adult Golden Eagles, 1 adult Northern Goshawk.
The resident Golden Eagle pair were somewhere in the sky for most of the day. One made excellent use of the winds by repeatedly kiting up to great heights before tucking into display dives. At times these dives were conducted with great vigour while other migrant Golden Eagles passed through the valley. We were also blessed with excellent views of one of the resident Northern Goshawk adults who flew overhead along the river clutching something furry in its talons. Thank you to Jessica for spotting this bird!

Non-raptor Observations:
It was an excellent day for avian variety. The meadow was busy early in the morning. Mountain Bluebirds, American Robins, and European Starlings were the most conspicuous. They were joined by a Western Meadowlark and at least one American Pipit. Associated songsters were Dark-eyed Junos, Varied Thrush, American Tree Sparrow, Pine Siskin, Pine Grosbeak, and White-winged Crossbill. The chickadees and nuthatches were also in attendance. An American Dipper sang from various wet places, and was accompanied by another dipper later in the day.

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Mount Lorette information may be found at:
More information at [Site Profile] [Day Summary] [Month Summary]
Count data submitted via Dunkadoo – [Project Details]