Observation date: 5 July 2015
Last spring, a new female came in to replace the one that had been on the north side of Morro Rock for the last few years. We don’t know what happened to the last female, whether she had died of natural causes, was killed in a fight or was run off. All we know was that we saw a new female that was colored differently from the previous one. She didn’t have a full black hood, but had the white cheek patch that defines the mustache, making this a different bird.
During this year’s breeding season, we had discovered that she was banded. Since then, we have tried to read the band with not much success. Cleve Nash with his new EF 600mm lens on his Canon EOS D Mark II captured a shot in the early morning of her stretching and you can see the results.
He found out by reporting the band to Glenn R. Stewart, Director, Predatory Bird Research Group, Long Marine Laboratory, UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064.*
She was hatched on the 250 foot high catwalk atop the Moss Landing Power Plant in the spring of 2012 making her three years old. She is now the mother of three chicks, two males and one female on the north side of Morro Rock. We believe this to be her first clutch.
To be able to get a photograph like this, believe me, it is a real task. There can be no wind and the lighting has to be just right. The window of opportunity is very small, probably less than 10 seconds! But for Cleve Nash, no problem! Just another day at the rock.
Happy trails, Bob
*Email from Glenn Stewart….. “Nice work, Cleve!! I banded 23/R as a fledgling on 3 July, 2012. Her nest was in a gravel filled box on the 250 foot high catwalk of the Moss Landing Power Plant. I attach two photos of the nest site and banding as it is usually accomplished at this site. However 23/R was not banded in the usual fashion (as a nestling) because I did not yet have clearance to band at this site. She was banded after a bad fledging attempt and was collected by workers at the plant and then checked out by my friend, Dr. Jim Roush. We banded her and returned her to a high roof where her parents took over—apparently with good results. Many thanks for the sighting. I am putting a paper together on dispersal for the Raptor Research Foundation conference this fall. This will help! Best, —glenn