Hawk Survey

On Jan.31, Dave Godfrey and Evan Tibbott conducted a third winter hawk survey in the Mud Lake - Monteview area. The results were similar to the one conducted in December, focusing mainly on the annual migration of rough-legged hawks into the Upper Snake Plain. A total of 41 rough-legged hawks were counted, plus three adult bald eagles, one northern harrier and one kestrel.

In contrast to December's survey, when the great majority of rough-leggeds were observed north of Highway 33 in the vicinity of Mud Lake-Monteview, a greater number were seen south of Highway 33. They were more evenly distributed over the entire area. The area is very dry with snow cover ranging from about an inch to large areas of bare ground, whereas the bottomlands west of Rexburg have total cover of several inches. The total count of rough-leggeds corresponds closely with December's total of 47 rough-leggeds, with 5 northern harriers, one adult bald eagle and one kestrel. Dense fog in the vicinity of Rexburg made for some concern as we started out. Westward, the fog thinned out, breaking up gradually into late morning and early afternoon with visibility varying from less than a quarter mile to unlimited views of the Lost River, Lemhi and Beaverhead ranges, all the way to the Centennials along the northeastern horizon. The scenery from the farmlands is without parallel in its sense of timeless serenity. Much human history is reflected in its depths.

Evan Tibbott
Upper Snake Idaho Master Naturalist

Photos of male and female Northern Harriers by Teresa Meachum

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NOHA_male_1819.jpg52.21 KB
NOHA_6188_lo by Teresa Meachum.jpg348.45 KB