Monday, April 19, 2004

April 18, 2004
Thanks to those who e-mailed and responded yesterday, it is nice to hear from folks.<br> I just spotted our wintering peregrine falcon perched on the telecommunications tower here in Tlacotalpan, I am sure that it will be leaving shortly, I will miss it when it migrates but all of you up north will be enjoying will be enjoying your peregrine falcons. I noticed this winter on several occasions that our peregrine falcon is a bit of a gourmet. With good scoped views I was able to clearly view the peregine plucking a grebe, (either least or pied-billed) the lobed toes of the grebe being visible and unmistakable. I thought this to be a bit curious as I have always seen them munching on rock doves in the past.
This past fall while leading two birding guests, we witnessed a "kill" of a peregrine falcon and the victim was of all things a cattle egret. It was pretty impressive. I will try to make some notes next year as to peregrine snacks of choice.
As for yesterday's ID question, I went with the juvenile Cooper's hawk pretty much based on this PHOTO.
Note the progressively shorter outer tail feathers on the juvenile Coopers.

As for the hawk watch, clear blue skies and high flying raptors made counting a virtual nightmare. I could have used some help today! I estimate that I probably missed 50% or more.

Today's numbers:
TV Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) 15

OS Osprey (Pandion haliaeetus) 7

MK Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis) 962

NH Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) 1

SS Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) 4

CH Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperi) 1

BW Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus) 684

SW Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni) 6

PG Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) 2


Total for the Month of April 79,125

Good birding,
David McCauley
Tlacotalpan, Veracruz

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