Saturday, September 29, 2012

Clay-colored Sparrow at Kiptopeke

This Clay-colored Sparrow, rare in our area, was at the feeders at Kiptopeke earlier this month, then came over to the hawkwatch platform, where hawkwatcher Steve Kolbe got its portrait!

Brian Taber

Friday, September 14, 2012

800,000th Bird at Kiptopeke Hawkwatch

We have been counting down to this milestone...our 36th season...and 800,000th bird...remarkably, our Hawkwatcher, Steve Kolbe, was able to take its picture as it flew right over the platform at 9 a.m. on September 9th!

Brian Taber

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Color-banded Piping Plover

This color-banded Piping Plover (photo by Bill Williams) was found by Ruth Beck's bird survey team, which I serve on, at Craney Island, Portsmouth on August 2nd. Through banding network communications, it was learned that it was a hatch-year bird from Grand Marais, Michigan. Grand Marais is a remote site on the shore of Lake Superior where volunteers monitor the Piping Plover population. Kathy Davis, who coordinates the volunteers, told me, by e-mail, that there were 3 pairs and that only 7 chicks fledged, out of 10 hatchlings and all 7 were banded. The chicks had hatched on June 11,12 and 13. The adult females left the site in early July, but the adult males stayed through fledging. The last chick was seen on July 29.

In a remarkable coincidence, I was vacationing on Michigan's Upper Peninsula in July and visited Grand Marais on a random stop, but when I saw the Piping Plover signage on the dunes, I walked to the beach where I met volunteer Clyde Heacox, who told me all about the birds. He and I watched one bird feeding on the beach...possibly the same one we saw at Craney nearly 1,000 miles away!

Brian Taber