Saturday, February 25

About a dozen RVAS members led by Nate Trimble had a suc-cessful morning of raptor watching at the Imperatrice property in Ashland. Trip participants were treated to beautiful views of Ashland and the Rogue Valley and a large wide open parcel of habitat full of easily observable raptors.

As we wandered the 800 acres of grassland habitat, we successfully identified six species of raptor, including Rough-legged Hawks, Northern Harriers, Red-tailed Hawks, Golden

Eagles, a Ferruginous Hawk, and American Kestrels. We also enjoyed listening to Western Meadowlarks sing throughout the morning and watching some colorful locals, including American and Lesser Goldfinches and Western Bluebirds. Eighteen species were identified in total.

Trip highlights included watching a three-way aerial battle between a Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, and Northern Harrier, close-up views of a low-flying Ferruginous Hawk with the sun perfectly illuminating its colorful plumage, and a flock of at least 80 migrating Sandhill Cranes calling high over-head.

Official Bird Count

Mallard: 7
Golden Eagle: 2
Northern Harrier: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 5
Rough-legged Hawk: 2
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
Sandhill Crane: 80
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon): 100
American Kestrel: 3
Common Raven: 6
Western Bluebird: 15
Dark-eyed Junco: 12
White-crowned Sparrow: 1
Golden-crowned Sparrow: 13
Savannah Sparrow: 4