Thursday, January 31, 2013

On Diann MacRea- biologist, birder

Years ago at a Skagit Audubon meeting , Diann was presenting her project of monitoring raptors, specifically Turkey Vultures migrating southward from British Columbia. After the meeting , I handed Diann a notice that I was observing goshawks on North Whidbey Island.
Years later, while I was posting some of my goshawk sightings on the listserv, under Tweeters, Diann just had to chime in saying- Let me add my two cents, I have been monitoring Turkey Vulture migration for a number of years as they travel southward through the San Juan Islands, and I have never observed a Goshawk.
 So what does that have to do with me and my Goshawks? I say if you do not live near a major or secondary migration route, that you will probably never observe a Cooper's hawk or  goshawk in migration. In my 18 years of chasing and tracking (visually) Northern goshawks, I have only observed 3 goshawks in migration. 1 in New Jersey, and 1 each at Grand Canyon, and north of Grand Canyon. I do not recall ever observing a Cooper's Hawk in migration outside of its major or minor migration route. I say that eastern Puget Sound is not a major nor minor migration route. But, many  Turkey Vultures pass through in migration.

Then later on, I observed Diann's publication, and where she told of goshawk in Bothell, which is about 15 miles from Seattle. This does not surprise me, as I have observed the goshawk soaring over Seattle and south of Tacoma. I know that goshawks are moving into cities and suburbs.

So what is this posting all about? Diann MacRea is saying that she can observe and at the same time identify goshawks, while Nelson Briefer cannot observe and at the same time identify Goshawks.
I will say it again- There is no person or organization that know more of Goshawk migration, habitat, and distribution than what I know. Yet, I know very little of Goshawks. For example, I have never observed a goshawk nest, I have never observed a goshawk take prey, I have never observed a documentary on goshawks. I am just satisfied with being  a hawk watcher. I am not supposed to observe many Northern goshawks, or more to the point, the same goshawks over and over again. This is why I am called - The man who saw too many Goshawks.

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