Raptor Banding: Weeks 7+8

Well, folks, that’s a wrap! The 2023 diurnal raptor banding season came to a close yesterday, May 28th. The weather this spring made for an interesting season with a very warm week at the beginning of April, followed by many days of rain and snow. It seemed to have affected the migration of raptors, with a very slow second to last week and then a last decent push of birds this last week.

However, we still had quite the productive season, totaling 207 raptors banded, which is just one shy of the total from last year. This season we had several “firsts” for MSRW, including an adult Red-shouldered Hawk (2!), an adult dark morph Red-tailed Hawk (two!), an adult Broad-winged Hawk, and an adult Northern Goshawk. A new record for Cooper’s Hawks banded in a season was set as well (8). We also surpassed 100 Red-tailed Hawks, banding the 100th one on May 22nd.

It has truly been a wonderful season. Many thanks to all of our donors, the MSRW board members, and to Faye for providing housing for Nick and myself. Another huge thank you to those who made it possible to have a new blind built for us. It made banding this season a breeze!

MSRW’s first adult Red-shouldered Hawks, banded on April 3rd and 6th

MSRW’s first adult dark morph Red-tailed Hawk, banded on April 4th

MSRW’s first adult Broad-winged Hawk, banded on May 24th

MSRW’s first adult Northern Goshawk, banded on May 24th

Left: Ed Pike, myself, and Nick with the 50th Red-tailed Hawk of the season, banded on April 15th

Right: Myself and Nick with the 100th Red-tailed Hawk of the season, banded on May 22nd

The season totals are as follows:

Red-tailed Hawks: 123

Red-shouldered Hawks: 2

Northern Harriers: 9

Cooper’s Hawks: 8

Sharp-shinned Hawks: 54

American Kestrels: 2

Northern Goshawks: 3

Merlins: 3

Broad-winged Hawks: 3

Total: 207

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