Hawk Mania 2K19!

Greetings yet again fellow MSRW supporters and followers! Now I know what you may be thinking after reading the title to this blog and let me assure that YES we have started trapping diurnal raptors this past week as a side project apart from our regular owl banding duties! With the number of hawks that have been migrating as of late it is definitely worth putting in the effort to try and catch some of these migrants and gather as much data as possible as they move though the area. The crazy part about doing diurnal trapping is that we have to attempt to catch them from the late morning to the early afternoon. If you are just “OK” at math like me then you would realize that by running owl nets all night then getting up relatively early to trap, this leaves little time for sleep and rest. If I were to calculate how much sleep we get on days when we have both banded owls and hawks I would have to ballpark that number to be between anywhere from 3-4 hours of sleep! This is very hard to do but totally worth it! I’m driven by my passion for studying raptors and who needs sleep anyways it is overrated if you ask me!
Now for the exciting part of this blog, we have trapped for only two days thus far but have had incredible results. The first day of trapping took place on April 19th and we managed to band 3 adult Red-tails. Our next day of trapping took place on the April 22nd and this was a big day by anyone’s standards. We managed 12 new birds of 3 species which included 7 sharp-shinned hawks, 4 more red-tails and drummmm rolllll please….. 1 adult female Northern Harrier which is just incredible and quite honestly left me speechless! These birds are incredibly aware and are usually quite difficult to catch; we are also running a simple set-up here which makes the task all the more difficult. However the exciting thing about banding is you really never know what you may catch you may think it is impossible but literally anything is possible! It also helps that I always have an optimistic outlook on whatever it is I may be doing which I think definitely helps! This was the first harrier caught by MSRW since 2013 so it’s been a while and the dry spell has ended hallelujah! Tomorrow we will hopefully be able do some trapping as well and as always I do my best to keep all you fine folks updated on the happenings of this spring season! Until next make sure you get your 8 hours of recommended sleep and stay classy.

Adult Female Northern Harrier Captured; What a beautiful bird


Diurnal Raptor Totals:
SSHA (Sharp-shinned hawk) – 7
RTHA (Red-tailed hawk) – 7
NOHA (Northern Harrier) – 1
Total Hawks: 15