Friday, February 22, 2013

Raptors Observed February 19-22nd 2013

Where are the Swainson's? That's a question some folks have been posing. Reports from the Mexican border area near Holtville and also closer near Brawley suggest that the Swainson's are beginning to move through the area but not into Borrego Valley. Turkey Vultures have shown up in numbers however. For the period February 19-22nd we have counted 54 TV's and only 1 Swainson's Hawk. A few flying ants have been reported. Above is a photo of a Swainson's Hawk grabbing an ant (or copulating ants) in the air. In past years when ants are present, we often see a number of hawks "kiting and hovering" as they reach out for the tasty ants. The Swainson's Hawks will face into the wind to stay motionless similar to flying a kite. Or the SW's will beat their wings with short rapid strokes to remain in one spot (hovering). Kestrels will often be observed hovering over fields in search of insects and small rodents

Evening Watch Friday February 22, 2013-23 Turkey Vultures-unknown roost site
Prediction For Tomorrow: The weather should remain clear with light wind. The vultures will probably depart the valley between 9 and 9:30A.

A Swainson's Hawk Feeding on Flying Ants-Dennis Morrison

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