Hawk trapping season wrap up:

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Unfortunately our time hawk trapping in Mackinaw has ended. However that being said the last week of trapping produced some very interesting captures and good numbers. Since my last update on the 30th we were able to get in four more sessions of trapping before I departed Michigan on May 9th. Our first session occurred on May 3rd. This day was very slow except for one capture and no it wasn’t a red-tail hawk which is our most prevalent species captured but instead we caught a PEREGRINE FALCON!!! Now this was exciting not only because it was the first PEFA ever caught by MSRW but because it was already banded. Now mind you most Peregrines are already banded due to their population numbers being so low, therefore most breeding pairs and chicks are monitored and all banded. Now the guy we captured has quite the story. He was originally banded in June of 2015 as a nestling at the international bridge in Sault St. Marie and they named him Frank. Now I am not sure what side of the bridge he was on but since I’m Canadian I am of course bias and hope that this bird is a fellow Canuck like me! Anyways, Frank now currently resides on the Mackinaw Bridge and is reported to be nesting there which is awesome. I guess he decided to move to Northern Michigan like myself. Needless to say Frank is 4 years old now and all of us at MSRW hope he has a successful nesting season.

Frank the Foreign Recapture Peregrine Falcon

Out of the 4 trapping sessions that occurred during the last week on two separate occasions we got skunked meaning we caught nothing which was very disheartening but that’s the name of the game and good days come with slow days. However on our last day we had a fantastic day which occurred on May 5th.  We managed to capture 7 red-tailed hawks in just a few hours which was a great way to end the trapping season. Out of these 7 tails 6 were second year birds and 1 was an adult with the beautiful red tail. Also during my last two nights of owl banding I passively caught 2 more Sharp-shinned hawks so they were added to this specific diurnal raptor list! In conclusion I bid all you fine people of Northern Michigan a fine farewell for now as I continue on to my next field job in Central Illinois where I will be monitoring Eastern Whip-poor wills with the University of Illinois over the summer and luckily enough my assistant from Cheboygan Chad will be with me here as well… what a small world. Until next time stay classy and hopefully I will be back in the North sooner rather then later!

Diurnal Raptor Totals:

SSHA (Sharp-shinned hawk) – 9

RTHA (Red-tailed hawk) – 18

NOHA (Northern Harrier) – 1

MERL (Merlin) – 1

PEFA (Peregrine Falcon) – 1

Total Hawks/Falcons: 30