Monday, November 23, 2015

Trip Report: Raptors of the Laramie Plains

by Brian Waitkus

Five people joined Chad Olsen for our annual raptor field trip on November 14.  The day was a surprise with sunny skies and little to no wind.  The trip began by going to the Gelatt Lake area via Pahlow Lane.   The lone Great horned owl was seen at the Hill ranch building complex.  In addition, Golden and Bald eagles, and Norther Harriers, Rough-legged hawks, and Ferruginous hawks were observed along this portion of the trip.  The day before Chad viewed eagles taking coots at the small open water areas on Gelatt Lake, but the warmer weather opened up larger portions of the lake today making the hunting more difficult.  Ducks, gulls and the lone meadowlark were also seen in this area.

Traveling to Brubaker Lane,  near the Laramie River, we observed a Redtail hawk sitting in a cottonwood eating a squirrel.  Traveling from this point to Sand Creek Road and back to Laramie more hawks and eagles were located.  A very good day was had for all and Chad once again delivered an excellent a trip providing great insight into the various raptors.

Species Number
Great Horned Owl 1
Northern Harrier 3 (1 juv)
Rough-legged Hawk 3
Ferruginous Hawk 8
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Golden Eagle 8
Bald Eagle 14 (4 adult, 10 subadults)
Eagle sp. 2
American Coot 156
Mallard 5
Gadwall 1
Green-winged Teal 1
Ring-billed Gull 3
Horned Lark 6+
Western Meadowlark 1

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