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Mount Lorette (17 Apr 2023) 10 Raptors

Mount Lorette
Alberta, Canada

Daily Raptor Counts: Apr 17, 2023
Species Day’s Count Month Total Season Total
Turkey Vulture 0 0 0
Osprey 0 0 0
Bald Eagle 1 42 128
Northern Harrier 1 2 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk 2 9 9
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 4 23 24
Ferruginous Hawk 0 0 0
Rough-legged Hawk 0 3 5
Golden Eagle 2 314 1753
American Kestrel 0 1 1
Merlin 0 4 5
Gyrfalcon 0 0 0
Peregrine Falcon 0 0 0
Prairie Falcon 0 0 0
Unknown Accipiter 0 3 5
Unknown Buteo 0 0 1
Unknown Falcon 0 1 1
Unknown Eagle 0 10 20
Unknown Raptor 0 2 2
Total: 10 427 1980
Observation start time: 05:00:00
Observation end time: 20:00:00
Total observation time: 14.5 hours
Official Counter Lori Anderson
Observers: Rick Robb

Six people stopped by the site.

At Dawn, the sky was almost cloudless and snow crystals filled the air, blown in from the snow clouds over the SW side of the valley. There was a thin layer of powder on the trail and much more was to come throughout the morning. A wind warning was in effect and the snow plumes on the ridges confirmed the very strong winds. At one point, a large snow tornado swirled on the Olympic Summit and another formed upriver. At ground level, the winds were also strong all day with gusts over 30 km/h, and even toppled over a heavy metal chair. Both ridge and ground winds blew from the SW. After 9:00 it started snowing intermittently until about 15:00 with a few very intense squalls, and it wasn’t until 18:00 that the valley had clear skies and finally allowed passage for two Golden Eagles. The temperature went up and down all day between 0 and 4 degrees.

Raptor Observations:
Most of the few migrants seen today flew high over the center of the valley, but later after the snow storms passed, they used the eastern ridges. A very funny thing happened today. We were observing one of the resident Golden Eagles fly southward directly overhead and a Bald Eagle came into view heading northward passing it on the same path and at the same level as if it were a two-way highway. Migrant Raptors: 2 Golden Eagles (1a, 1u), 1 adult Bald Eagle, 4 Red-tailed Hawks (3 adults, 1 dark/intermediate adult), 1 Northern Harrier (adult female), 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2u). Non-migrant Raptors: Resident Golden Eagles were seen hunting a few times but not performing display behavior. Oddly, the resident Goshawks were neither seen nor heard the entire day. A light morph adult Red-tailed Hawk circled while hunting over the meadow and later another with the same characteristics was seen a few times kiting and soaring while hunting over Hummingbird plume. I think it might be the same one, and has set up shop in the area.

Non-raptor Observations:
Before the snowstorm, the morning meadow was teaming with activity and song. Northern flickers called out continuously for hours, Robins and Juncos sang and a pair of Mountain Bluebirds embellished the tree tops. + American Robins, 2 Hairy Woodpeckers, + Common Ravens, 2 Red-breasted Nuthatches, + Dark-eyed Juncos 4 Canada Geese, 2 Northern Flickers. 1 Common Goldeneye, 4 Mallards, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 1 Ruffed Grouse (tracks). Very frisky Red Squirrels.

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Count data submitted via Dunkadoo – [Project Details]