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Information on Banded Hawks Wanted

drawing of a Red-tailed Hawk
We need your help to locate banded Red-tailed & Red-shouldered Hawks in Orange County

  We need the following information:
1. Your name, address, phone number and E-mail address
2. The date and specific location of the sighting
3. The species of hawk, if possible
4. Which leg  the aluminum band is on
5. The  letter or  number and color of the band, as well as any marks before the letter or number 
6. The location and proximity to any known hawk nests
7. Any information about  breeding behavior, such as courtship, nest building, territorial behavior and/or repeated vocalizations

Example: A  Red-shouldered Hawk was spotted with an aluminum  band on its right leg, and a red band with "J" on the left leg. The bird was soaring with another hawk near a nest site at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary  on  12/31/01.
Although we would, of course, like all the information to be complete, we realize that partial information may also be of some help.
Please mail or phone your information to:
Scott or Cheryl Thomas

24911 Hayuco

Mission Viejo CA 92692

(949) 472-6405

Background Information:
For the last three decades, Sea & Sage member Pete Bloom has been studying and subsequently banding hundreds of raptors in Southern California. Pete has returned to higher education in order to complete his Ph.D.. His thesis will include natal dispersal (the life history of chicks from known nest sites) and breeding success of Red-tailed and Red-shouldered Hawks.  The data for his research will come from his thirty years of mark and recovery (banding) research completed in Southern California.
The vast majority of banded birds were originally banded as chicks or trapped as adults in open spaces and parks surrounding Orange and northern San Diego counties. More recently, Sea & Sage member, Scott Thomas, has banded hundreds more raptors in the urbanized areas of Orange County.
The purpose of banding the birds is to gather information on the dispersal, nesting success and life expectancy of hawks in this geographical region. Many have been tracked over the length of the study through various methods, including recapturing previously banded birds, reports from the recovery of injured or deceased birds, tracking individuals with radio transmitters, and viewing specialized, easy to read color bands.
Much has been added to our understanding of raptor ecology, and the success of the study has been enhanced by contributions from Sea & Sage members.
We need your help again in order to locate the hawks which we may have missed, particularly in the urban areas and parks.  For the next few years, we will be concentrating all our efforts on locating  the many banded Red-tails and Red-shouldered Hawks here in Southern California.
Most of the Red-tailed and Red-shouldered Hawks fall into two "banding categories":
Category 1 Birds that were banded as nestlings. These will have one aluminum band which is silver in color and will most likely be on the right leg. Most of these birds were born in nests somewhere in Southern California and banded as chicks. We need to attempt to recapture them in order to identify  them.
Category 2:  Birds that have 2 bands, one of each leg. These birds will have an  aluminum band on either the right or left leg. The other leg will have a "color band" made of either metal or plastic.  These "color bands" have either a number or letter on them that is large enough to read with an average spotting scope or a very good pair of binoculars.
Special Circumstances:
When we band resident adult hawks, we often put the bands on in a specific arrangement in order to more easily distinguish  the male from the female. Example: On females, we often put the aluminum band on the left leg with the color band on the right.
A Little Information about the Bands:
The aluminum bands are issued to researchers from the US Fish & Wildlife Service. They have a two-part number that is issued only once, which will identify the bird both to the Fish & Wildlife Service and to us.
The color bands are our own bands and identify these birds to us only.  Although the Fish & Wildlife Service receives data on these color bands from us when they are installed, they cannot cross reference them to our particular hawk. These color bands will have some sort of marking.  Example:  a "red-P"  on the left leg of a Red-shouldered Hawk.
Send all reports of banded raptors to the Bird Banding Laboratory at: http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/

Sea & Sage Audubon Society
PO Box 5447 • Irvine, CA 92616 • 949-261-7963