Date: 6/16/18 5:47 pm
From: David Vick <or.naturalist...>
Subject: [COBOL] Smith Rock raptors and a big surprise
Hi All,

The two bald eaglets took their first flights on Thursday and continue to
spend most of their time hanging out on the nest tree waiting for mom and
dad to bring home groceries which included a flying fish and a flying
squirrel this morning. I know that both of these species are rather rare
in Central Oregon but perhaps they were just receiving their first and last
flying lessons. The golden eaglet is spending a lot of time exercising
it's wings in the nest so fledging will in the next week or two. Unlike
the neighbors, once a golden leaves the nest they want nothing to do with
their former prison. If you were wanting to observe or photograph the
balds from the rim better make it soon but please remember to complete the
recently implemented agreement form if you haven't already done so. This
can be obtained from the office or you can give me a call at 541-923-6943
and I will set you up.
Despite the valiant efforts of Gary Landers of Wild Wings Raptor
Rehabilitation in Sisters the tiercel of the peregrine pair was lost last
month right after confirmation of incubation which obviously resulted in
failure. It was kind of sad to see her defending the scrape for the
following two weeks but such is the natural world. The good news is that
the she has recruited a replacement, a very brief period of morning
indeed! It is highly unlikely that they will produce a clutch this late in
the season but it was awesome for Ranger Kyle and I to watch them hunting
Violet-green Swallows from the face of Picnic Lunch Wall yesterday.
The First Kiss climbing area's Prairie Falcons continue their nesting
efforts and those closures also continue despite some members of the
climbing community getting antsy but oh well. When I was checking on their
status recently I noticed something out of place up on the rim. When I got
my binoculars on it I was amazed to see a female California Bighorn Sheep.
My first thought was, "Ewe got to be kidding!" I feel sheepish about
posting this on COBAL but couldn't resist four baaad puns in a row. By
proximity it would be more likely to have been one of the feral Mouflon
Sheep from Crooked River Ranch but that apparently is not the case. The
nearest population of bighorns was reintroduced in the Mutton Mountains on
the Rez several years ago. (One of my former students, tribal member Joel
Santos, was the recipient of the very first tag and bagged a huge ram when
the population grew large enough to be hunted.) Many of you no doubt
remember when the Mountain Goat showed up and stayed for awhile in the Dry
Canyon out in the Badlands a few years ago. Populations always have those
that hear the beat of a different drummer and are just hard wired to
disperse like OR-7 did. Wonders never cease!

David Vick
Interpretive Naturalist
Smith Rock State Park

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