Friday, March 11, 2016

March 7-11, 2016-The Hawks Are Feeding in Great Numbers Still

March 7-Judy Davis
March 8-Steve Bier
March 9-Laura Webb
March 10-Wes Hetrick
March 11-Rose Leong

March 7-4 Turkey Vultures
March 8-152 Swainson's Hawks
March 9-104 Swainson's Hawks
March 10-72 Swainson's Hawks
March 11-226 Swainson's Hawks 1 Turkey Vulture

The major flower bloom and incredible caterpillars has attracted hundreds of Swainson's Hawks. Today  (March 11) we witnessed several kettles of hawks arising from the flower fields and potato fields off of Henderson Canyon Rd. Over 400 Swainson's Hawks were in the air at the same time. Most returned to the fields to feed. It is possible that they will remain in the area. The count today included only those hawks that migrated. Check out the youtube of the caterpillar that is beginning to burrow into the sand to pupate. Also included is the life cycle of the White-lined Sphinx Moth. The second youtube is of part  of one kettle this morning.
Youtube-Swainson's Hawks
Below is the life cycle of White-lined Sphinx Moths.

Evening Watch:
Before the rain came in-yes we do get some rain-actually a spit, we had around 300 Swainson's fly over us. It was so windy we had to evacuate the evening site. They were very high and disappeared into the rain. We are not sure where they have gone to roost.

Tomorrow the wind should be diminished and we believe most of the hawks will feed early before departing the valley. We are not sure of the location of the roost site. Caterpillars are everywhere in the valley. We will check likely roost sites early in the morning. You might want to check in with the main count site at the end of DiGiorgio Rd. to find out where the hawks are. I will return to Henderson Canyon Rd east of Borrego Valley Rd. I'll travel north on Borrego Valley Rd to Henderson Canyon searching for the hawks. Most likely departure time for the hawks-8a.m.-9:30a.m.

Life Cycle of White-lined Sphinx Moth (Hummingbird hawk-moth)
One of a few hundred Swainson's Hawks in the flower fields-March 11, 2016-HC
Homin Lim-HC
Swainson's Hawk-March 11, 2016-Homin Lim

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