[Tweeters] 2014 Seattle Cooper's Hawk Project Summary (long)

falcophile at comcast.net falcophile at comcast.net
Mon Sep 8 13:58:03 PDT 2014

Yo Tweets,

We recently completed the third year of a study of Seattle’s Cooper’s Hawks. This study builds on the pioneering work done by Jack Bettesworth from 2003 to 2011.

The study has three main goals. First, we are trying to census the city of Seattle and establish how many Cooper’s Hawk nests exist each year. This year we located 37 nesting territories, of which 33 were successful.

Second, we count how many young they produce. This year we documented 111 young that lived long enough to fledge.

Third, myself and my study partner, Martin Muller, attempt to put unique color ID bands on as many birds as possible. This allows us to track individual birds as they move around the city and beyond. We put orange bands of the right legs of females and purple bands on the left legs of males. Each band has a unique stacked two number and/or letter combination. For example, a female we banded last year near Discovery Park (“orange 2 over A”) was relocated near Northgate as part of a successful pair that produced three young. Now her two daughters are also color banded, which will allow us to track her next generation. Our ID bands have been sighted at Freeland on Whidbey Island, Kelsey Creek in Bellevue and at SeaTac Airport. This season we were able to color band 48 youngsters and 7 adults.

The most popular choice of nest tree was Big Leaf Maple (10), followed by Douglas Fir (8), Alder (3), Madrona (2), W. White Pine (2) and Chestnut (1).

Most nest sites are in parks and greenbelts owned by the City of Seattle (26), followed by private yards (10) and the UW (1).

Special thanks to all the volunteers who helped collect this information. This would have been an even more impossible task without their hard work.

We greatly appreciate any color ID band readings from Tweederdom, especially you digiscopers!

Ed Deal

Seattle Cooper’s Hawk Project

falcophile AT comcast DOT net

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