Thursday, March 15, 2012

Storm Approaching From the North

Migration Today:
Swainson's Hawks-32
Turkey Vultures-16

Weather was mostly clear, calm to start, 3 mph WNW to end 58-70 degrees. Both the SW's and TV's roosted at both the date farm and the Roadrunner Club. Liftoff at 9:10A for both species at the Roadrunner. At 9:15A another liftoff from the date farm. The raptors moved low and slow to the west and finally out Coyote Canyon. The TV's pictured here were observed on Palm Canyon Drive near the Roadrunner Club.

Beginning Saturday we will have a wind and rain event. The much needed rain will probably begin Saturday afternoon. The wind will begin increasing Friday evening. This may slow migration as the the storm moves quickly to the south. The next wave of Swainson's Hawks will probably begin Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. 

Heh! Move over so I can spread my wings!
What is the protected status of the Swainson's Hawk in California. The Swainson's Hawk is listed as State-threatened under the California Endangered Species Act of 1983. "It is considered an uncommon breeding resident and migrant in Northern California, and occurs primarily in the Central Valley and on the Northeastern Plateau". Once abundant throughout Northern California, the numbers have declined considerably. Disturbance of breeding and foraging habitat are the primary cause.

Evening Watch:
Only 22 Turkey Vultures and 1 Swainson's came into the valley this evening. The location of the roost is unknown.

Prediction for Tomorrow:
The wind is predicted to increase through the morning hours. Migration of the TV's and lone SW may be early. The Circle of Art Festival has been cancelled this weekend and will be next weekend instead.

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