Chelan Ridge Update

29 October 2013

Last update for the 2013 season from the Chelan Ridge crew:

The season at Chelan Ridge has officially come to a close. This past week the crew packed up camp and moved it down the mountain. We are now preparing to move our separate ways after sharing two and a half months of learning, laughter, and getting to see and handle some really cool birds. Although numbers were lower than ever this year, our final total equaling only about half of what it averages historically, it has been made clear to us that the success of a season is not dependent on the number of birds counted. Thanks to our cohesive team and great leadership, morale was always high on the ridge. With the team's help, Chris was able to acquire 223 blood samples from raptors for his migration fitness study. He was able to sample three new species that he wasn't able to last year (Northern Goshawk, Northern Harrier, and Rough-legged Hawk), as well as more Red-tailed Hawks, American Kestrels, and Northern Goshawks than expected. Chris's study will help provide insight to the physical toll that migration puts on these birds. As far as low count numbers go, a low season provides almost more important data than a high one. We look forward to seeing what further analysis of our data reveals, and we are eager to see if this trend will continue next season. As the members of our crew go their separate ways across the country, we know we will never forget our 2013 season. A number of us hope to be back next year to continue our adventures at the beautiful Chelan Ridge, and we look forward to again sharing our season with all of you.

Final Season Totals: Count/ Banding

Turkey Vulture 28/ --
Osprey 21/ --
Northern Harrier 33/ 8
Sharp-shinned Hawk 349/ 287
Cooper's Hawk 169/ 82
Northern Goshawk 12/ 11
Broad-winged Hawk 11/ 0
Swainson's Hawk 5/ 0
Red-tailed Hawk 161/ 32
Rough-legged Hawk 28/ 2
Golden Eagle 45/ 0
Bald Eagle 11/ 0
American Kestrel 17/ 7
Merlin 28/ 16
Prairie Falcon 5/ 2
Peregrine Falcon 6/ 3
Unidentified Buteo 57/ --
Unidentified Falcon 3/ --
Unidentified Accipiter 41/ --
Unidentified Raptor 50/ --
TOTAL 1080/ 454