2013 Pembina Valley Raptor Migration
In 2011 the Foundation was pleased to make a grant to A Rocha Canada for the Pembina Valley Raptor Migration Project, an initiative that monitored Manitoba’s premiere spring raptor migration right here in the Pembina Valley, our own backyard.
We just received an update from Paul Goosen, A Rocha’s Volunteer Coordinator for our area, on this year’s migration.
“The spring raptor migration is off to one of the slowest if not the slowest start since A Rocha began standardized counts in 2005. Normally at the end of April, the numbers are into the thousands, but not this year! Even with last year’s low count of 4,447 for the spring season, raptors were well over 3,000 by the end of March. This year, we have not even passed the 1,000 mark! As of 31 March, only 735 birds of prey had been counted with nearly 70% of the tally made up by Bald Eagles. Usually, the primary raptor bulking up the count this time of year is the Red-tailed Hawk. As of yesterday, astonishingly only 120 had been counted to date! Interestingly Golden Eagles are up by 6 over last year’s final count of 75.
There is still time though, and maybe the big “flood” of raptors will move through in the coming two weeks.
For those still wanting to get out and see raptors migrating through the Pembina Valley, there is a great opportunity this Saturday (6 April) to attend the La Riviere Raptor Festival. The fun starts at 10 AM at the Blair Morrison Hall in La Riviere and runs through until 4 PM. There will be live raptors on display for those who would like to get eyeball to eyeball with birds of prey, displays by conservation organizations, great food, a photo contest, kids activities and of course viewing migrating raptors.
To whet your appetite you may wish to check out the video “Raptors over the Pembina” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7K4jIrwI8-U) and find out more about birds of prey by watching the video “The World of Raptors” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dmOuFPykfU).