Trap City aka Mackinaw City: Hawk Update X2

Greetings yet again MSRW followers and supporters! It has been just over a week since my last blog regarding our raptor trapping side project and I thought now would be the perfect time to give everyone an update. Since the 23rd we have been able to make it over to Mackinaw on a few occasions and yes we have still been capturing birds and EVEN added a new species for the spring!

Adult Male Merlin Captured! What a Beauty

The highlight came on the 24th when we were expecting a big day but caught only one bird, however that bird was an after second year male Merlin! Now I would like to tell you that I was the great trapper that lured this bird into our set-up but it was quite the contrary. This merlin just seemed to be flying by to check out our set-up and passively got caught in our mist-net. Regardless of how it happened it was super exciting and made the day all worthwhile on what turned out to be a dead day with empty skies. Since then we decided to switch our trapping spot to a more open area in the hopes of increasing Buteo specie captures in this case we are primarily after Red-tailed hawks. Anyway our next day out was on the 26th and we managed to capture two new red tails! Winds were strong that day and we had over 8 red tails come into to check us out but none committed and instead perched in a nearby trees off and on throughout the day as if to tease us. The next trapping day occurred on the 30th and this day was different for a few reasons. First my assistant Chad had to depart back to his home state of Illinois to get ready for his next field job which coincidentally I will be working with him yet again for the summer! BUT I will tell all you fine folks about that next job as I get closer to my own departure date. Now back to the good stuff, since Chad was gone that meant that local legend and chair of MSRW Ed Pike was going to join me in the blind today, it is always nice to have his company. The change in personal must have brought us some luck as we managed yet another 2 new red-tails, we also had one get out of the net and had a few make passes but overall it was a very good day! Ed will be accompanying me in the blind for the remainder of the season as we will continue to trap this upcoming week as often as the weather permits us. Until next time keep your eyes to the sky and as always stay classy!

Ed got in on the fun and banded his first red-tail for 2019! Hopefully many more to come

Diurnal Raptor Totals:

SSHA (Sharp-shinned hawk) – 7

RTHA (Red-tailed hawk) – 11

NOHA (Northern Harrier) – 1

MERL (Merlin) – 1

Total Hawks: 20

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