Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Borrego Valley Hawkwatch Wed. February 15, 2012 Evening washout

Migration Today:
Swainson's Hawks-17
Turkey Vultures-7
Swainson's Hawk reaching for a flying ant

A kettle of Swainson's Hawks and Turkey Vultures began to rise from the date farm at 8:40AM. Winds were light and increasing by 9AM. The raptors streamed to the northwest through Coyote Canyon. By 9:15AM the SW's and TV's were gone.

Evening Watch:
A steady rain halted any migration into the valley this evening. The valley needs a night of rain to prompt our annual plants to germinate. Also, a rain followed by some sun will stimulate ant colonies to swarm. Swainson's Hawks feast on flying ants. Beginning now through the middle of March, swarms contribute to the hawks diet. A good flower season promotes a healthy sphinx moth season. The SW's will feed heavily on caterpillars. Last season the SW's feasted on grasshoppers, another abundant insect in the valley.

After the rain we may see a late morning migration tomorrow. Predictions are for continued rain through the morning.

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