[Tweeters] Late Rough-legs in WA

Bud Anderson falconresearch at gmail.com
Fri May 12 09:46:45 PDT 2017


I have always been interested in how late these hawks can occur in
Washington.

In fact, many years ago we originated the little known, almost covert and
possibly irrelevant "May Rough-leg Club" just for fun.

You too can become an exclusive member just by simply seeing a Rough-leg
in May.

No dues. No membership card. No meetings. No newsletter. Pretty much
nothing.

Right now, several locals (and exclusive members) here in Skagit and
Whatcom counties (Andrea Warner, Sue Cottrell, Pat Britain and Becky
Rosencrans) are following two different white wing-tagged Rough-legs from
the Vancouver Airport relocation project in BC run by Gary Searing.

Both were captured at YVR, transported to Chilliwack and released there.

Both are now hanging out on the Samish Flats underscoring what we all know,
i.e. that open, flat, agricultural fields located on major river deltas in
w. WA are very important to wintering buteos.

As you might expect, both hawks are juveniles with no particular drive to
get north to breed.

So if you see a Rough-leg in May, it is always good to report it here on
Tweeters.

And, if you can, try to age them. Yellow eye is a juvenile, dark eye an
adult, among other things.

The idea is that most May birds, maybe all, are first year hawks.

Bud Anderson
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