Title: Santa Rosa Island Update
Description: May 1-8, 2012
IWS Crew - May 9, 2012 06:09 PM (GMT)
Greetings eagle fans,
We are coming to you from a fun filled tour on Santa Rosa Island this time around. Kim, Dr. Sharpe (“DrS)” and Don are your hosts so sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
One of the main objectives of this tour was to band the Lopez chick (possibly chicks, but more on that later). We also wanted to get a lot of the island covered (searched) and had some time left the afternoon of our arrival to do a little surveying. Don headed out to the east end and spotted a blue-tagged juvenile, but wasn't able to get an ID.
Soon after that an adult, or near-adult, was seen in the same area and it was joined by the juvie before they flew off to the west. No tags were seen on this bird, but that is likely a result of distance and lighting, rather than a lack of tags.
Don also found a nest with eggs, but it was a little small for eagles. ;)
Horned lark nest
Kim and DrS searched the Torrey Pines area, but no other eagles were seen that first day.
Banding day! We headed to Lopez. As some of you may remember, originally we had seen 2 chicks in the Lopez nest, but during his last visit to Santa Rosa Don had seen only one. We were hoping the second one had just been hiding in the back area of the nest. Unfortunately that wasn't the case, but we were very glad to see this little guy or should we say, little girl. Beak size strongly suggests a female.
May we present, A-79.
We did find remains for A-79's sibling, down-slope from the nest, and it appeared that it had died at 2-3 weeks of age. We can't be sure what happened to it, but it could have been anything from blowing/falling out of the nest to sibling rivalry. :(
After the banding DrS and Don headed over to the north shore to check on the Verde (Trap Canyon pair's) nest and chick. Kim stayed back at Lopez to monitor A-79's response to banding. A-43 had been present for the banding, and wasn't shy about how she felt about it, but Kim was also able to verify that A-39 is still her mate.
Over at Verde the ever vigilant adults set up a ruckus at DrS and Don's arrival. A good sign.
IWS Crew - May 9, 2012 06:15 PM (GMT)
Yea! And how you've grown! Someone is going to get banded even earlier than we expected.
That did it for checking on the youngsters this week, except for checking in at Lopez a few more times just to make sure A-79 was still doing well post-banding. The rest of our tour was spent with covering as much territory as possible to make sure we hadn't missed any other eagle nests on Rosa. While the eagles largely made themselves scarce as we put in A LOT of hiking we did have some other discoveries.
Day 3 and DrS came across what appears to be a historic eagle or osprey nest on the cliffs below Sierra Pablo.
And as Kim and Don searched areas of Old Ranch House Canyon they came across what would be the start of a week of screaming red-tailed hawks and their active nests.
But not before the obligatory fox. ;)
Okay, back to the screaming.
Sleeping beauties..., before they get their red tails.
Along his return to housing Don came across an orange-tagged juvenile (no ID) flying near the Torrey Pines and Black Rock. It must have been looking for DrS.
Day 4 and more hiking. DrS had some office work to do, report writing. Kim went to the South Point area and spotted an eagle near Johnson's Lee, likely one of the Lopez nest pair, and Don saw happy elephant seals near China Camp/Trancion Canyon.
There might have been a Loggerhead Shrike or two also, though this one was from a later day.
Day 5 and the searching continues. DrS joined us in the field again and caught sight, and a picture, of A-74 over near China Camp. Maybe the same juvie Don had seen on Day 1? Either way, it's always good to see her.
IWS Crew - May 9, 2012 06:21 PM (GMT)
He also dug up a red-tailed hawk nest of his own over near Whetstone Canyon. Chicks looking almost "grown up".
Kim surveyed the Bee Canyon area and Don worked the area from Mud Tank to Bee Cyn. Kim caught sight of an orange-tagged near-adult, that DrS also saw, and we suspect may be K-67. This may have been the same bird Don saw at East Point on Day 1.
Don discovered another Red-tailed hawk nest. They're everywhere!
The peregrines were also busy brooding their little ones, completely covered in this case. They don't go in for that whole stick arranging thing.
And there were the usual beach goers and the many island arches to be discovered.
Day 6 and we all shifted over to the north side for the most part. DrS spotted peregrines and their nest of 3 fuzzy chicks (sorry, too far away to photograph).
There were egrets posing.
A definitely not posing eagle-chaser, Kim.
And Kim and Don caught sight of K-95 of the 2010 Pinnacle Rocks (edit: oops, called it Seal Rocks initially)
:<:: nest on Catalina.
As Don hiked through Tecelote Canyon he had the distinct feeling of being watched.
IWS Crew - May 9, 2012 06:24 PM (GMT)
But it turned out the watcher was rather shy.
In Arlington Canyon, Don, you guessed it, came across another Red-tailed hawk nest.
Day 7 was largely spent catching up on reports, updates, and other “office” tasks, at least by DrS and Don. Kim went out to check on a nest reported by the NPS veg folks (Thanks for keeping your eyes open, Dirk and Nicole!). It turned out to be another red-tailed hawk nest with 2 chicks. Kim also paid one more visit to check on the Lopez nest and A-79, and did some more surveying around Trancion Canyon.
Don did manage to get out in the field later in the afternoon and check out some small canyons between the pier and Carrington Point and, yep, you guessed it, another red-tailed hawk nest with 2 chicks. Seems we don't have to worry about the red-tail population out here. ;)
They are pretty cute even if they aren't eagles. :)
That was pretty much it for the tour with Day 8 being our clean up and travel day.
DrS will finally be getting back to Catalina for a little while to do some banding there, but then he'll be back to Rosa mid-month to band the Verde chick. Tis the season...
So on behalf of the red-tails, and eagles, of Santa Rosa Island, we bid you adieu..., for now.
Be well all,
Kim, Dr. Sharpe, Don, and the rest of the IWS crew :<<o>>:
EarthMuffin - May 9, 2012 06:45 PM (GMT)
Thank you for the update, and for the great work that you do!
SoCal Lady - May 9, 2012 06:55 PM (GMT)
THANK YOU IWS, ONE AND ALL! :Hugs: Another very interesting UPDATE! :><:
A79 Lopez--she is ia Beauty! SRK95.. <3 The colorations of the RTH chicks are so pretty! The Egret posing-lovely photo-very statuesque. <3
Eagle Duo - May 9, 2012 06:58 PM (GMT)
Thanks for taking us along with you during a busy week on the Northern Islands!
Your pictures and descriptions keep me mezmerized each week! :wub:
Lots of nests...of all kinds....and yes, they're all cute!
Was a little surprised at the different ages of the RTH chicks.
Some look freshly hatched and others look ready to fledge.
Great to see the blue & orange tagged alumni. :<<o>>: :<<o>>:
Take care and stay safe!
Naturegal - May 9, 2012 08:27 PM (GMT)
Kim, Don, Peter and Crew - You do such a fantastic job of keeping us updated on all you do, which is sooooo much. Thanks for this week's news, you are all so appreciated. :Hugs:
raycyn - May 9, 2012 08:37 PM (GMT)
wow, thanks all for the wonderful update - always consider Santa Rosa ones a wonderful Bonus, and what a lot to see - Big smiles and tons of appreciation for all you do.
Cindy in Oregon ^"^ ^"^
klemon - May 10, 2012 12:17 AM (GMT)
Love the update as usual. Enjoyed the pics of red tails ^"^ and of course the eagles. Thanks for all you do. <3 and hugs to the whole IWS crew
cdn-cdn - May 10, 2012 12:42 AM (GMT)
sunnyland7 - May 10, 2012 04:14 AM (GMT)
Dr.Sharpe , Don, Kim , Fantastic to see all those eagles and red tails, and other
island dwellers. Good report. Appreciate your hard work!
KarenTX - May 10, 2012 04:29 AM (GMT)
Thanks for a great report! :><: It was very interesting, entertaining and made me laugh. Screaming RTH's! :lol: Glad to see the wildlife in the area is thriving.
That happy elephant seal was adorable and the Lopez chick is gorgeous!
So pleased to see orange and blue tagged eagles out and about and looking good!
Hope you all have a great week and take care.
Artsy Mom - May 10, 2012 01:02 PM (GMT)
:}^ IWS :<<o>>: crew. As always your :clk: :clk: 's and descriptions are really great. So sad to lose a ^"^ but happy to hear the RTH 's are thriving on the island. Very cute sleeping barn owl :) and the Island :TF: is picture perfect :D
Thanks for keeping us up to date with all the Island news. Can't wait to see some banding videos :)^
Patti - May 10, 2012 04:07 PM (GMT)
Thank you, all, for the great Update! So many great nests...and not only eagles, and wonderful photographs.
I've never seen an egret anyway but in a riverbed or along a creek, so interesting to see one on a rock. You always have something special for us. Thank you!
The last photo...the Red-tailed on that gorgeous rock...wow!