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Mount Lorette (25 Mar 2024) 51 Raptors

Mount Lorette
Alberta, Canada

Daily Raptor Counts: Mar 25, 2024
Species Day’s Count Month Total Season Total
Turkey Vulture 0 0 0
Osprey 0 0 0
Bald Eagle 1 46 46
Northern Harrier 0 0 0
Sharp-shinned Hawk 0 1 1
Cooper’s Hawk 0 0 0
American Goshawk 0 2 2
Broad-winged Hawk 0 0 0
Swainson’s Hawk 0 0 0
Red-tailed Hawk 0 1 1
Ferruginous Hawk 0 1 1
Rough-legged Hawk 0 4 4
Golden Eagle 50 1339 1339
American Kestrel 0 0 0
Merlin 0 1 1
Gyrfalcon 0 0 0
Peregrine Falcon 0 0 0
Prairie Falcon 0 0 0
Unknown Accipiter 0 0 0
Unknown Buteo 0 2 2
Unknown Falcon 0 0 0
Unknown Eagle 0 11 11
Unknown Raptor 0 0 0
Total: 51 1408 1408
Observation start time: 07:00:00
Observation end time: 18:30:00
Total observation time: 11.5 hours
Official Counter Caroline Lambert
Observers: Rick Robb

There were quite a few people on the trail today, and about 20 stopped to ask about the eagles.

It was -13C at the start of the count. The temperature rose to a maximum of 1C, and dropped to -4C at the end. Cloud cover ranged from 50% to 90%, initially cirrus and cirrostratus, and then slowly changing to mostly cumulus. Ground wind was light and variable in the morning, then building to knock-the-chairs-over strength (over 30kph) in the afternoon, from the northeast, giving a “feels like” temperature of a chilly -10C. The high cumulus clouds were moving from the northwest at a moderate speed, while the ridge winds were unknown until late in the day when snow plumes on McDougall indicated strong west to southwest winds at ridge level.

Raptor Observations:
The migrating birds were all over the place today. The movement started low on the west ridge in the early afternoon, then a couple were spotted high on the east ridge. Shortly after that a number were seen gliding high above the valley on the west side, apparently not using the ridge, and going north over Skogan Pass. Soon after that, a number were spotted coming from the east side of the valley and going over Skogan Pass. Spotting these high-flying birds was challenging, and aging them next to impossible. Later in the afternoon the west ridge became shrouded in mist, and the migration pattern settled into a more traditional pattern on the east ridge, with the height of flight gradually dropping as winds apparently died down, with the last few eagles barely getting above ridge level.
The totals were 50 Golden Eagles (28a, 4sa, 18u) and one adult Bald Eagle.
The presumed resident adult Golden Eagle was seen crossing the valley from west to east in the morning, an adult Bald Eagle was soaring above the river, and there were several sightings of one or two American Goshawks – all sightings presumed to be one of a pair that at one point were soaring together over Hummingbird Plume, not appearing to be migrating.

Non-raptor Observations:
The cold temperature seemed to put a damper on non-raptor activity. Not many other birds were seen: Hairy Woodpecker 1, Canada Jay 2, Black-billed Magpie 1, Common Raven 8, Black-capped Chickadee 2, European Starling 5, American Robin 8

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