RIDGENA COMPLETES MIGRATION TO COLUMBIA AND BACK!
In 2015 the Kittatinny Coalition sponsored and tracked the complete migration of “Ridgena”, a Broad-winged Hawk, as part of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary’s Broad-winged Hawk Project. We learned that she left on fall migration on August 23rd and followed Appalachians south to arrive at the border of West Virginia and Virginia, west of Roanoke, by August 30th. There she stayed for almost two weeks resting and feeding. On September 14th she took off again along mountains into Tennessee, Alabama, Texas and eastern Mexico. She passed Veracruz on September 26th and then flew south through Central America. Ridgena arrived in Colombia to her wintering area by October 17th, a forested block north of Bogota. In mid-January 2016 Ridgena moved north in the same forest block, but we lost her signal suddenly on January 17th. We did not know if she was alive and had a transmitter failure or if she had met unfortunate fate. So we waited.
In late April 2016, Hawk Mountain staff heard broadwings calling from Ridgena’s territory area, knowing Ridgena might possibly be nesting near her 2015 nest. Staff and volunteers watched the birds and finally saw her metal band to confirm Ridgena had returned. They could not see the transmitter antenna or transmitter but were not sure if it was hidden by feathers. So they decided to re-trap Ridgena to possibly recover anything that she might have retained, such as the transmitter or harness. Once they set the trap, she was in the net in only 15 minutes! Ridgena did not have a transmitter or harness, which she could have bitten through and left in Columbia somewhere during the winter.
Ridgena ranged over about 68 hectares during the 2015 nesting season. She has a nest along a river near Hawk Mountain and had, it is estimated, two chicks (the nest is high up). It is possible that one was lost to a predator. Ridgena weighed in at 450 grams, 50 grams more than when she was trapped last year – and two weeks earlier. The male partner hunts while Ridgena watches over the chick, which should fledge in mid-July. Here is a map that includes the broadwings’ migration. Ridgena is featured in the photo header, above.
MEET THE COALITION’S 2016 BROADWING: ROSALIE
The Kittatinny Coalition has sponsored another broadwing, “Rosalie”, to track her journey and continue to support Hawk Mountain Sanctuary’s research in 2016. She is named after Rosalie Edge, a conservation activist who in the 1930’s purchased and opened up 1400 acres to the public at Hawk Mountain so people could witness how birds of prey were being persecuted. Rosalie Edge’s efforts contributed to the end of passing hawks being shot for sport. Rosalie, our broadwing, spent time around the Appalachian Trail, see map below, and is now near Pottstown. Watch her migration movements here on Hawk Mountain’s website. Let’s cross our fingers that Rosalie, like Ridgena, survives to migrate south and return!
Photos and maps courtesy of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary.