Date: 2/27/18 9:15 am From: Joel Geier <joel.geier...> Subject: [obol] White-tailed Kites in mid-Willamette Valley 2000-2007 [LONG]
This is very long but hopefully some folks will appreciate a historical perspective on White-tailed Kites in Benton County and nearby areas.
What follows is a compilation of entries for White-tailed Kite (abbreviated here as WTKI) in the Audubon Society of Corvallis "Chat" field notes, during my first stint as compiler (mid-2000 through mid-2007). I've edited these slightly for clarity and brevity.
The numbers preceding each entry give the Chat volume (corresponding to the year) and issue number.
Entries of note include the ones for 2000-07 & 08 (Kings Valley breeding record), 2001-08 (notably high counts), 2001-09 (possibly the start of what later became the ECAS winter raptor survey?), and 2004-09, as well as the
Long-time birders might enjoy seeing some names of birders whom we haven't heard from in a while.
Happy reading, Joel
2000-07: WTKIs have been seen along Kings Valley Hwy. near Maxfield Creek Rd. Jim Fairchild saw 1 adult on 8-16, 1 or 2 on 8-23, and 2 on 8-25. This is just south of Maple Grove Rd., where a pair that summered in 1998 was suspected of nesting. Jim notes that the changing landscape of that area might be favorable to the increased presence of kites.
2000-08: WTKIs were still present in Kings Valley on 6 Sep, when Jim Fairchild saw two adults being followed around by two apparent juveniles which made pitiful croaking calls.
2000-09: A WTKI was at E.E. Wilson WA 5-6 Nov (Dave Budeau).
2000-10: WTKI sightings included one along Airlie Rd. in southern Polk County on 3 Dec (P. Vanderheul), and an adult near the northeast entrance of Finley NWR on 24 Dec (Erik Knight).
2001-01: WTKIs were a frequent sight at Finley NWR: an imm. on 6 Jan (Marcia F. Cutler), one along Finley Rd on 8 Jan (Hendrik Herlyn) and one during the Eugene field trip on 20 Jan. One along Airlie Rd. in Polk Co. was a highlight of the ASC field trip on 1 Jan. Another was in the SW corner of E.E. Wilson WA on 2 Jan (Alan McGie). On 15 Jan Jamie & Sarah Simmons watched two kites mob a Red-tailed Hawk near the Hwy 20 weigh station west of Wren, after the hawk stooped at one of the kites.
2001-02: Tanya Bray watched a courtship flight of two WTKIs along Finley Rd in Finley NWR on 6 Feb, and Paula Vanderheul saw three there on 19 Feb.
2001-03: WTKIs continued to be seen near the weigh station east of Blodgett (25 Feb, Steve Dowlan; 8 Mar, H Herlyn) and near the north entrance to Finley NWR , where on 17 Mar two were perched near a tree that contained a large nest (Carolyn Paynter). Don Hall saw one at E.E. Wilson WA on 25 Mar.
2001-05: Gary Weisberger reported a WTKI near Circle Blvd. and Hwy 20 in Corvallis on 30 Apr.
2001-06: Two WTKIs were hunting near the Kings Valley Cemetery on 7 Jul (Margaret Stephens) and again on 20 Jul (Jeff Fleischer). A Portland Audubon Society field trip to Finley NWR on 17 Jul saw a juvenile or first year kite (Norine Dietrich).
2001-07: On 1 Sep Tanya Bray found two WTKIs at Finley NWR, one at Cabell Marsh and one along the new Muddy Creek trail. Four kites were found along Hoskins Rd., Kings Valley on 15 Sep (M Cutler).
2001-08: Remarkable numbers of WTKIs have been seen at Cabell Marsh, gathering at a favored spot at around 11 AM each day. Reports included 15 on 1 Oct (Steve Seibel), 11 on 6 Oct (Don Boucher); and high counts of 26 to 28 on 8 Oct (S Seibel, P Vanderheul). Kites were still present on 15 Oct (S Seibel).
2001-09: Winter brings remarkable numbers of raptors into the Willamette Valley. On 25 Nov Jeff Fleischer was curious how many he could find. In four hours driving around Linn County, he tallied 8 Northern Harriers, 63 Red-tailed Hawks, 2 Rough-legged Hawks, 25 American Kestrels, and 1 Peregrine Falcon, to make a total of 99 raptors! Even that tally missed a few species such as WTKIs. Don Boucher saw two east of Blodgett on 3 Nov, Steve Seibel saw seven from the prairie overlook at Finley NWR on 9 Nov, and Richard Hoyer Sr. saw another near Airlie on 14 Nov
2001-10: Four WTKIs were at the prairie overlook near the north entrance of Finley NWR on 7 Dec (Bruce Newhouse). Marcia Cutler noted several kites at the same location on 1 Dec, and the ASC field trip saw a kite along Greenberry Rd. on 8 Dec.
2002-01: Hendrik Herlyn saw a WTKI at the north entrance of Finley NWR on 8 Jan. Another kite has been regular in the north end of E.E. Wilson WA since early January (Dave Budeau).
2002-02: Steve Vincent reported 7 to 8 WTKIs near Inavale School, 2-3 Feb (fide Elsie Eltzroth). Through 4 Feb two kites were being seen at opposite ends of E.E. Wilson WA (Dave Budeau). Single kites were seen near Airlie Rd. and Sauerkraut Rd. in s. Polk County on 7 Feb (R Hoyer), and along Tennessee Rd. n. of Lebanon on 24 Feb (Jeff Harding).
2002-03: On 12 Mar Tom Snetsinger saw two WTKIs over fields near the Kings Valley cemetery, where kites were seen in the past two breeding seasons.
2002-05: A WTKI was near Alsea on 8 May (Wayne Hoffman) and one was at the Philomath sewage ponds on 9 May (Rich Hoyer).
2002-07: A WTKI was at the NE entrance of Finley on 8 Sep (Erik Knight). On 21 Sep two kites were seen near the Kings Valley school (Benton MC), and three more were near Airlie in Polk Co. (D Albright).
2002-08: A WTKI was at Mary's River Natural Area Park, Corvallis on 16 Oct (Thom Whittier), and one was along Brooklane Dr 19 Oct (W Wright). Kites at Finley NWR included one near the prairie overlook 27 Sep (K Sparkman), and one harassing a Red-tailed Hawk at Mill Hill pond 22 Oct (D Boucher, J Husen).
2002-10: A WTKI was near the prairie overlook at Finley NWR on 5 Dec (S Seibel), and one was at Snag Boat Bend for a rare Linn Co. sighting on 17 Dec (Jennifer Weikel).
2003-01: A WTKI was at Finley NWR 3 Jan (Joe Fontaine). On 18 Jan Don MacDonald saw one three miles south of Alsea.
2003-02: Two WTKIs were at Bellfountain & Llewellyn Rd on 20 Jan (Richard F. Hoyer).
2003-07: An immature WTKI was near the prairie overlook at Finely NWR 12 Jul (Paula Vanderheul).
2003-08: Sean Burgett saw a WTKI a few miles n. of Pedee 7 Sep. Another kite and a Northern Harrier were at the Brooklane open-space area 14 Sep (Don Boucher).
2003-09: A WTKI was at the Finley NWR prairie overlook 7 Oct (Steve Seibel).
2004-01: One to two WTKIs continue to be seen at the prairie overlook, Finley NWR (H Herlyn; S Seibel; J Simmons; S Johnson). Another was in the north part of E.E. Wilson 7 Jan (H Herlyn).
2004-02: Two to three WTKIs were seen around Finley NWR throughout the month, most often at the prairie overlook at the north entrance. Jeff Fleischer also spotted a pair along Airlie Rd. about a mile w. of Hwy 99W on 12 Feb.
2004-03: Three WTKIs continued at Finley NWR 10 Mar (S Seibel, J Fleischer).
2004-04: Randy and Pam Comeleo saw two WTKIs at Finley NWR 4 Apr (fide M Cutler).
2004-05: A WTKI showed up in Oak Creek neighborhood west of Corvallis 7 & 8 May (Bob and Elke Doss fide Bill Proebsting).
2004-06: A WTKI was flying over an open mixed woodland/grassland area 3 miles west of Alsea 9 Aug (Nicole Michel). Four adults were at the Finley prairie overlook 18 Aug (Noah Strycker).
2004-07: A WTKI was at Finley 31 Aug (J Simmons) and 18 Sep (Benton County NAMC fide M Cutler), at the prairie overlook as usual.
2004-08: On 13 Oct Carol Karlen saw six WTKIs around the Kings Valley cemetery, four of them chasing a pair of Red-tailed Hawks.
2004-09: Steve Seibel has been seeing WTKIs regularly at the prairie overlook at Finley, with a peak count of 11 there on 4 Nov. Steve noticed that the kites take wing and fly west about 45 minutes before sunset every evening. On 27 Nov he found five kites roosting in treetops along a ridge 3 miles due west of the prairie overlook. Rana Foster saw a pair kiting along the Alsea River near Clements Park 21 Nov.
2004-10: Steve Seibel saw five WTKIs at the prairie overlook at Finley 25 Nov, and noted at least one was present most times he checked this location through late Dec. An adult kite was between Peoria and Halsey 28 Nov (Roy Gerig), and one was along Gap Rd. south of Brownsville 14 Dec (Jeff Fleischer), both locations in Linn Co. where kites are rare. Six were at Kings Valley 29 Nov (Carol Karlen).
2005-01: WTKIs were seen less frequently at the Lincoln Prairie overlook at Finley, but two were there 11 & 27 Jan (S Seibel).
2005-02: Two WTKIs were seen regularly at the Finley NWR prairie overlook through 14 Feb (S Seibel; Carolyn Paynter). Three were near the Kings Valley cemetery 8 Feb (Jeff Fleischer).
2005-04: A WTKI at the Finley prairie overlook 23 Mar (S Seibel) seems to have been the last one seen there this season.
2005-05: WTKIs seem to be increasing in Linn Co. One was in the Belts Rd. grasslands 8 Jun (Mark Nikas). Another flew over Pat & Dan Waldron's place e. of Scio 4 Jul.
2005-07: A WTKI was along the s. side of Price Creek Rd. in Kings Valley 22 Sep (Rana Foster).
2005-08: A WTKI was at the prairie overlook at Finley NWR 18 Oct (Steve Gordon), where more should be gathering in the coming months.
2005-09: A WTKI showed up in the s. part of E.E. Wilson in the last week of Oct (fide Ray Fiori). Six were in Kings Valley 9 Nov (Salem Audubon Society field trip).
2005-10: A WTKI was along the Alsea Deadwood Hwy at South Fork Rd. 27 Nov (Don Boucher, Lisa Millbank). I saw one was along Simpson Rd. in se. Polk Co. 12 Dec, and another just s. of Airlie 26 Dec. One was also found on the Brownsville CBC 26 Dec.
2005-11: A WTKI was hunting in the West Corvallis Hills 26-28 Dec (Terry Thayer). Good numbers have been seen n. of Corvallis this winter; on 31 Dec Paula Vanderheul and Marcia Cutler saw one at the National Guard Rifle Range, one along De Armond Rd, and five more n. of Airlie.
2006-02: Several WTKIs were seen regularly near Airlie. Four were in the Alsea area 3 Feb (Marcia Cutler, Mary Garrard, Rich Armstrong). One was perched near the s. end of 53rd St. in SW Corvallis 20 Feb (Jim & Karan Fairchild).
2006-03: WTKI sightings included an adult and imm. near Kings Valley 7 Mar (M Cutler, Rich & Nanette Armstrong) and three at the w. end of Plymouth Rd. s. of Philomath 12 Mar (Jim & Karan Fairchild).
2006-04: WTKIs were seen just e. & just w. of Alsea 6 Apr (R Armstrong et al.).
2006-05: The only WTKI report this period was one 1/4 mi. e. of the Benton Co. Fairgrounds 19 May (Stephanie Drake fide D Boucher).
2006-07: A WTKI was at Finley NWR 17 Sep (L Millbank, D Boucher).
2006-09: Two WTKIs were at the prairie overlook at Finley 16 Nov, and one was there 24 Nov (S Seibel; Jim, Karl & Karan Fairchild, Ulo Kiigemagi).
2006-10: WTKIs were seen regularly around the prairie overlook at Finley NWR (m. obs.). One was at Marys River Natural Park 9 Dec (Don Boucher).
2007-01: Two WTKIs at Marys River Natural Park 5 Jan (Howard Bruner) continued thru the period. On 21 Jan they were perching next to each other and engaging in apparent courtship rituals (D Boucher, L Millbank). Another kite was w. of the covered bridge on the Campus Way bike path 9 Jan (R Armstrong).
2007-02: A pair of WTKIs continued at Marys River Natural Park thru 28 Jan (Will Wright fide D Boucher). One was at E.E. Wilson 5 & 17 Feb (Don & Roberta Hall; Chris & Mike Miller). One was hunting near Finley headquarters 13 Feb (A Purviance). Two were at the Finley prairie overlook 19 Feb, one eating a vole (Randy & Pam Comeleo). In Linn Co., Tom Snetsinger found a pair in courtship flight on Marks Ridge n. of Sweet Home 17 Feb.
2007-03: A WTKI was at the Lincoln Prairie overlook at Finley 21 Feb thru 4 Mar (M Cutler, P Vanderheul; Andy Purviance). A pair continued at Marys River NP 4 Mar (D Boucher) and one was still along Brooklane 20 Mar (Tom Ahlstrom). A pair hunted fields near Alsea 10 Mar (L Parker).
2007-07: Two WTKIs flew in to hunt over a prairie restoration at Finley NWR after a prescribed burn on 26 Sep (Molly Monroe).