Sunday, January 23, 2011

Moscow area, 1/22/11 - Geese, owls, and Rough-legged Hawks

Hi All - 

I got out around Moscow for a few hours yesterday. At Darby and Mountainview Rds. I had 1 or 2 Cackling Geese (B.h.minima) with ~800 Canada Geese and ~200 Mallards (see attached). Several other small geese present were probably Lesser Canada Geese (B.c.parvipes) but I didn't get conclusive looks. 

At Doug Rudolph's place on Estes Rd. just into Whitman Co. I had a Long-eared Owl and a pair of Great Horned Owls. The Long-eared Owl did the typical thing of flushing and flying around behind me every time I got close to it. I talked to Doug when I arrived and he said it was fine to wander around and look for birds. He used to feed birds and occasionally had Gray-crowned Finches at his feeders. I believe a number of owls were found here last winter. 

I also had 3 Rough-legged Hawks while wandering around which seems normal for the area covered. As mentioned a while ago Rough-legged Hawks roost communally on Moscow Mountain. Some long-time area birders like Dave Holick probably know how long it's been there but I bet it's been many years. At the right time and place it's possible to see Rough-legs leaving or returning to the roost. Some of these communal roosts get quite large, for example the Ronan, Montana roost in the Mission Valley has had over 300 some years but more usually ~200 and some years much less (see: The natural variability in these roost counts suggests that numbers of wintering Rough-legged Hawks can vary from year to year and place to place.

thanks, Charles.

Charles Swift
Moscow, Idaho
(north-central Idaho, 80 miles SE of Spokane, WA)
46°43′54″ N, 116°59′50″ W
skype: charles.swift
google voice: 208-991-2473

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1 comment:

Tom Obrock said...

Good to see your report Charles. Would love to see a Rough-legged Hawk or Long-eared Owl.