Subject: Re: Goshawk migrating?
Date: Apr 5 11:30:57 1995
From: Don Baccus - donb at Rational.COM

> Tracee Geernaert
> A couple weeks ago during a lunch stop at Red Rock State Park near Sedona I
> spied a Goshawk circling overhead with a really wild wing beat. It was
> using all the airspace available to gain altitude. With each flap of the
> wing it would nearly touch tips at both the down and up stroke.

Interesting. I've seen this type of wingbeat with a resident pair
of goshawk at the site in Nevada's Goshute mountains where I band.

The pair fledged a chick for about five years in a row just about
1/4 mile from our camp (along with great horned owls not far away).

They were absent last fall, but we had a red-tail pair which nested
nearby so I suspect the two pair were incompatible co-habitors.

Anyway, one member of this pair (I forget which) three years ago
would appear to the east of the ridge, and high above, on each
afternoon that had a strong flight to the east (the nest site
is on the east slope of the ridge). I took it as a territorial
display, but don't really know all that much about goshawk
behavior on their nest site, other than the fact that their
kids scream for food VERY loudly. This particular year was
an invasion year for goshawks, and we saw about 5x our average
number. I just figured the resident was kinda wigged out over
the vast number of gos flooding the ridge.

I've never seen that flight elsewhere, and as I've observed hundreds
of migrants would have to say that it isn't TYPICAL of migrants,
though of course you might've been seeing an atypical migrant.

Just to go on, at risk of boring everyone, resident redtails tend
to escort migrants along the ridge, while sharpies and coops tend
to fly out and challenge their kin. All of this sporadically,
as on busy days there are far more migrants than the residents
can deal with. When you think about it, it must be a bit
confusing to the birds as they don't normally have to deal with
a thousand "intruders" into their territory on a daily basis!

This same gos would also come visit each of our four trapping stations,
which range over an area of a couple square miles, on a daily basis.
Sort of like it was checking up to make sure our lure birds were
being treated humanely, or something. Seriously, would visit each
blind in succession (we have radios, and would communicate the
bird's progression), fly around a few times overhead just to make
sure everything was shipshape, then off to the next. Once per day,
and only once per day, on almost every day.

Strange thoughts go on in those little bird brains...

-Don Baccus-