Goshutes Update

27 August 2013

News from Goshutes:

We usually band a handful of Prairie Falcons each fall here at our Goshute NV site. Historically, most visit early in the season when the sky still seems relatively empty. The first day of banding at our North Blind was August 20th, and sure enough, a stunning juvenile Prairie (picture above) rolled in right behind the first bird of the year, an adult Red-tail. It's interesting to speculate why we see these big falcons so early; are they wandering hatch-year birds still dispersing from their nests, or is it true migration?

Several days later we were similarly surprised by a very small, 2500 gram juve Golden Eagle. (pictures below) Although any species could be over our heads at any given time, we typically don't band eagles early in the season, especially in August! In comparison, our first GE of 2012 was in late September. No matter when they come or how big they are, eagles are always an especially dramatic and reflective moment. We welcome all bird lovers to visit us and share the experience!

Thanks to crew member Caitlin Davis for her unique pics. And creative cooking. And sunny attitude. If you don't visit Goshute for the raptors, come to enjoy the incredible scenery and the company of her, William, Toby, Russ and Rya!!

Goshute number update:

We started counting on Aug 15. As of yesterday we had 319 birds observed thanks to Russ and Rya. We busted out two fully operational blinds (West and north) o August 18. After taking a day off for banders we started trapping on the 20th. We got prairie falcon, 7 red-tails, 3 coops, 9 sharpies, 1ak female and best of all yesterday at 5pm our first GE! A skinny hatch-year male. We've been getting rained out most afternoons so our 22 birds caught so far isn't bad. Our biggest count was yesterday with 41 birds.

No visitors so far really but season wouldn't be possible with the constant help of Mike Shaw. Also the crew is getting along great. We caught potentially the earliest eagle at the goshutes and our numbers out above what has been seen in recent years.