Saturday, October 11, 2008

GYRFALCON!!

My apologies for the long delay between posts ... migration has continued in full swing for songbirds, owls, and hawks and I'll try to post more details soon.

BUT, the big news is that today during hawk-trapping, I was fortunate enough to capture and band an immature gray phase Gyrfalcon at Lucky Peak. This is the first we have ever seen or captured during the 14+ seasons of raptor monitoring in the Boise Foothills. Thus, it was a pretty special experience to watch the bird for a few minutes as it worked through the trapping station before finally getting captured! The early date is also amazing as it seems that late October/early November are when migrants tend to arrive to this region. Presumably the strong cold front (see snow in background) has something to do with it.

The bird was in fantastic shape (weighed over 1600 grams) and was last seen flying W over Boise so keep your eyes peeled!

In other news, winter finches are around in big #s - esp. including Evening Grosbeaks and, lately, Red Crossbills. There have even been a couple sightings of apparent Common Redpolls (seems early too) that I have yet to see or hear ... hopefully soon.

OK, more soon ... enjoy the few pics below .... (in case you're wondering, the blood on my finger is mine - not the bird's - from where it punctured my finger with it's very sharp bill!).

Cheers,

Jay




5 comments:

Dale said...

Congrats Jay, I bet you never envisioned that bird flying into the net. What is the story, did you get it with the pigeon? dove?

You are a lucky man.

shittyksbirder said...

Great job, Jay!! What a sexy bird!
Geez,seems theres nothing you all can't catch up there!

Awesome pics! Keep up the great work!

Jethro

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness! This is incredible (awesome, amazing...) What a thrilling capture.

And good job snagging it, Jay. Congratulations!!!!
Those years of experience and all those down days did finally pay off, eh?

I am so happy for you (dying of jealousy here, but happy for you nonetheless!). It makes me smile just to see you grinning away. Thanks for posting the pictures.

Lila

P.S. I think that you just became my hero!

Edward said...

Awesome catch. Must be nice. Makes up for the Long-tailed Jaeger.

Anonymous said...

Ok I'm extremely jealous which is why I'm going to give you a hard time for using the word phase instead of morph! Congrats Jay! Wish I could have been there!

Kara Donohue

Mission: to contribute to the conservation of western migratory landbirds through cooperative research and public education