21052Matador Area Birds
- Jul 12, 2011Swainson's Hawks, American Kestrels, Loggerhead Shrikes, Purple Martins, and Mountain Bluebirds all feeding young today near or in our yard.
The hawks, kestrels, shrikes, and martins aren't too surprising, but the bluebirds are, since I don't think there are any occupied boxes nearby. Arguably MOBLs are an invasive species here, since there weren't many suitable trees in this area before fire suppression, but a few bluebirds are nice to see. The same might be said of Purple Martins, definitely an invasive species here; I never understood why they are preferred to House Sparrows, since the sparrows are much more "beneficial", eating unwanted weed seeds and many grasshoppers, while martins eat my favorite insect, the dragonfly, and leave the pesky mosquito alone. But, a few martins are nice to see, too. I think we have eight adults and two broods of nestlings in the martin house, just about the right amount for me.
Merlin action in this area range from flying youngsters to a set of possibly viable eggs on Sunday.
We visited more Ferruginous Hawk nests than ever, although productivity was down slightly from the best years.
Prairie Falcon productivity doubled from last year's disaster, although still down from 2009.
Something is going on with the Golden Eagles along the South Saskatchewan. Just four successful nests, where I used to find twelve or more. I know the coyote trappers catch eagles through the winter - the eagles are often released but starve since their feet no longer work. I hope this isn't the reason so many long time nests are now unoccupied.
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