Date: 11/16/20 10:55 am
From: Jeff Fleischer <dmarc-noreply...> (Redacted sender raptorrunner97321 for DMARC)
Subject: [obol] Winter raptor surveys
Hi everyone,

Thought I would offer results from the first two surveys for the East Cascade Audubon Society’s Winter Raptor Survey Project that I do here in Linn County. This is our 17th season with the project and actually my 20th year doing my Linn County surveys. The area that I covered this weekend is bounded on the north by Hwy 34, to the west by the Willamette River, to the east by the Cascade foothills, and to the south by Hwy 228/American Drive that goes from Brownsville west through Halsey on to Peoria Rd.

It was a lucrative day despite off and on intermittent rains and some winds to 10 mph, temps ranged in the mid 40s. It was basically ideal weather for doing surveys. Here is what I found in that area:

223 Red-tailed Hawks
118 American Kestrels
69 Northern Harriers
61 Bald Eagles
12 Rough-legged Hawks
4 Prairie Falcons
1 Ferruginous Hawk
1 Burrowing Owl

489 birds on 153 miles of transects, the best collective total since the winter of 2014-15 when I averaged almost 600 birds for the winter in this area.

The Ferruginous Hawk continued in the Potter Rd area but I actually found it sitting in a field north of Abraham Rd where it connects with Blueberry Rd. I have found FEHA on two other routes in Linn County in past years, this was the first one for this route :)

The Prairie Falcons were found south of Green Valley Rd west of Davis Rd, on Potter Rd south of the railroad tracks and east of the road in the plowed dirt field that will probably support filbert trees in the future, south of Linn West Rd between Hwy 99 and the bridge a mile or so east (this bird was enjoying an aerial conversation with a NOHA), and south of Seven Mile Ln about half a mile west of where it connects with Harrison Rd.

There were some distinct concentration areas for RTHAs. I found 22 in a field west of Oakville Rd and north of Tangent Dr, 14 in the fields east of Country Rd/south of Seward Dr/west of McLagan Rd, 14 in a field north of Fayetteville Rd about a mile west of Shedd, 9 in the general area where dozens were reported a week or so ago along American Drive and Smith Rds, 9 more in a field along Creek Bend Dr east of the railroad tracks, 10 in fields off of Parker Rd between Tangent Dr and Glaser Rd, 9 in the same field as the PRFA found along Seven Mile Ln, and of course more in scattered locations throughout the area. I was encouraged by the large number of RTHAs, this was the 10th time out of 60 surveys that I have done over the last 17 years in this area where numbers exceeded 200 in this area. I had 220 in January 2019 but then you have to go back to the winter of 2014-15 to get these kinds of numbers.

American Kestrels were on par with numbers from last winter. NOHAs enjoyed a huge rebound from the last 4 winters when I witnessed a slow steady decline from what was found during winters of 2013-14 and 2014-15 when numbers ranged in the 70s and 80s. I was glad to see the uptick!

Bald Eagle numbers were low but that was to be expected, we don’t get into the hundreds of birds until January through March. There was also a noticeable lack of sheep throughout the area which will gradually increase as more are brought into the valley during lambing season in January and February.

The RLHAs were scattered throughout the area, 8 of the 12 were east of I-5 between Blatchford Rd off of Tangent Dr down to Morgan Rd adjacent to Ward Butte. I love watching them hover hunt for their prey!

All in all a great two days in the field, looking forward to seeing what is on my other routes this month, will let you know what I find :)

Jeff Fleischer
Eugene, OR
Project Coordinator
Winter Raptor Survey Project
East Cascades Audubon Society - Bend, OR

OBOL archives:
Contact moderator: <obol-moderators...>

Join us on Facebook!