Crossing the Straits

Red-tailed Hawk Movement Update

As I mentioned in my last post many of our tagged birds from 2021 have initiated their Spring migration over the last few weeks. As was expected many are utilizing similar routes as they did last year, and yesterday three of our tagged birds crossed the Straits again.

Red-tailed Hawks are obligate migrants, meaning that their departure and arrival dates during migration periods are similar in terms of timing, these types of migrants also exhibit high site fidelity to both their breeding and wintering grounds. This first year of the project has already started to shed some light on the various breeding locations and wintering locations used by these birds that migrate through the Straits.

Here is a current update on three birds from 2021:

Rowan: Crossed the Straits on April 22nd in 2021. He crossed this year on April 12th.

Patagium: Crossed the Straits on April 10th in 2021, she crossed this year on April 12th.

Sam: Crossed the Straits in 2021 on April 13th, She crossed the Straits this year on April 12th.

Color Banding Red-tailed Hawks in 2022

In an effort to get a better picture of the full distribution of Red-tailed that use the Straits we will be color banding all captured birds with a white color band that has a black alphanumeric combo. Anytime you are out birding and see a Red-tail, check and see if that bird has a color band with this color scheme, if so that means it was banded in the Mackinac Straits. Then you can report that band number either to MSRW or here. https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/BBL/bblretrv/

White color band placed on a Red-tailed Hawk. All color bands contain a single letter and number in black font. This color combo will indicate birds that were banded in the Mackinac Straits.

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