Date: 7/7/17 8:09 am
From: Mitchell Pruitt <0000000b4ac30a99-dmarc-request...>
Subject: Quest for Swainson's Hawk, Interesting Vulture Behavior, and Neotropic Cormorants
I headed up to Benton County yesterday morning, in search of Swainson’s Hawks. No luck in that department, despite having checked area where they have been present, and presumably nesting, all summer. I had one very hooded, western Red-tailed Hawk that had me going until it flew, flashing the brilliant rufous tail. Plenty of Turkey Vultures were out and about and a couple of Black Vultures. I witnessed an interesting behavior by the less-sensible Black Vultures, known to follow TUVUs around due to their lack of smell in equal proportion to their cousins. There is little sound data on TUVU foraging behavior, but they are thought to compartmentalize themselves across the environment. When one bird senses carrion, it will begin to go down, which attracts other Turkey Vultures. I witnessed this yesterday and a little higher than the Turkeys were two Black Vultures that began spiraling downward too, no doubt thanks to cues given by the TUVUs.

At the end of the outing, we stopped for lunch at the pavilion overlooking SWEPCO Lake at Eagle Watch Nature Trail. There were at least 3 Neotropic Cormorants sunning themselves a little ways out in the water.

Good birding,
Mitchell
 
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