Date: 3/2/17 11:07 pm From: Bud Anderson <falconresearch...> Subject: [Tweeters] White 5H Wing-tagged Rough-leg at the West 90 on the Samish Flats
Several people have been seeing this bird lately.
I thought I would forward an e-mail from my colleague, Gary Searing, at the Vancouver BC airport (YVR) that includes some facts about this bird as well as some information on his program.
"Thank you for reporting your sighting of 5H. These sightings are very important to the success of my tagging program.
I tagged her as a juvenile bird at the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) on 11 February 2017 and released it the next day in Chilliwack, BC as part of a program to prevent raptors from being struck by aircraft. Yours is the third sighting of this bird since it was translocated to Chilliwack. The two previous sightings have been in the same area within the last couple of days. Let me provide you with some information on the program so you understand a bit more why we are doing this:
YVR began a program of trapping and removing Red-tailed Hawks and Rough-legged Hawks in October 2010 in order to prevent them from being struck by aircraft primarily to improve air safety, but also as a raptor conservation tool. Each year the airport has a large number of transient raptors that winter at YVR as well as resident adults and local-raised young birds. Based on information from SeaTac International Airport in Washington, we expect that adult residents are least likely to be involved in collisions with aircraft, but a significant number of young birds and transient birds are struck each year. Therefore, we are attempting to remove those birds from the airport environs by capturing them and releasing them just beyond Chilliwack where there is ample habitat and a reasonable likelihood that they will not return to YVR. I view this not only as an air safety program, but also as a raptor conservation program because, if successful, we may prevent the deaths of a dozen or more birds each year. We expanded the program in 2013 to all raptors (including owls). To date we have captured and relocated over 600 birds. Most of them were relocated to Chilliwack. To date there has been more than 5500 resightings of my tagged and banded birds. While most of those sightings are of birds that have returned to YVR, there have been over 300 sightings of 100 different birds away from Sea-Iona Islands by over 150 observers who are not part of the YVR wildlife management team.
33 American Kestrels 2 Bald Eagles (nestlings) 1 Barred Owl 283 Barn Owls (only a dozen or so have returned to YVR) 86 Cooper's Hawks 29 Great Horned Owls 4 Merlins 7 Northern Harriers (none have returned to YVR) 1 5 Peregrine Falcons 25 Rough-legged Hawks (5 have returned to YVR) 206 Red-tailed Hawks 16 Short Eared Owls (1 returned to YVR) 2 Snowy Owls (1 returned to YVR) 3 Sharp-shinned Hawks 2 Gyrfalcons
Raptors are one of the major strike risks at YVR and we believe that we are mitigating that risk significantly through the capture and relocation of raptors.
It is through the sightings of many interested persons such as yourself that we are able to collect the essential information on bird movements and distribution and learn how well the measures we are using to manage wildlife at the airport and elsewhere are working. We are in the process of developing a new website. The first steps have been taken to allow you to report your sightings online. Next steps will be to allow you to plot the location of the bird sighted on a map and finally you will receive instant feedback on the history of the bird you reported. I hope we can get the last two aspects of the website working by summer. I will let you know when it is up and working.
Thank you for your cooperation and your interest. Feel free to contact me for more information or with any sighting information.