The birds and I have been very busy this summer and we have had a few new additions. On 26 April, I picked up Mortimer our young male Harris Hawk. Mortimer has become a great asset to Adirondack Raptors. He loves to fly around people and has flown in grows of 300 so far. Read More
With only 1 nest box that is still in question, the season has been a smashing success. We have already banded 237 kestrel chicks and 6 adults. We have banded 1523 chicks during the first 14 years and 1678 total kestrels banded during the first year.
“For one species to mourn the death of another species is a new thing under the sun.” – Aldo Leopold 1948. Leopold wrote this about the loss of the passenger pigeon in 1914. How many have we lost since and how many more are we willing to loose?
So let’s loose the prairie chicken, then what’s next? And where do you finally say no, we don’t want to loose anymore? By the time you reach that point, maybe you are down to microtus and grasshoppers. – Fredrick Hamerstrom 1984
Children of Man in the 21st Century
The children of man have lost their sense of wonderment in this incredible world. They use to walk in the forest as part of the forest and were filled with a humble spirit, but today they have lost contact with the seasons of the planet. In the city, humans are god and they rule with an egocentric eye, but in nature they see reality and are taught through humility that they are merely part of creation.
In the 21st century it takes the children of man a few hours to traverse the planet instead of the years it took his predecessor. When the journey was long and arduous, they noted the intricate complexities of the life that share the Earth with them. They were totally immersed in the natural world, not just a casual visitor as they travelled, they smelled the air and felt the soil beneath their feet. The cold morning air nipped at their noses and the warm noon sun warmed their very souls. Now they travel in temperature controlled vehicles and when they do have to walk outside, they are plugged into their iPhones or iPods and rarely notice the songs of the creatures around them as they plod along. Today, only a rare farmer touches the soil that grows our food. Read More
As an academic grandchild of Aldo Leopold, I have always been a huge fan of the man. He was decades ahead of his time. He is decades ahead of our time. My mentors, the Hamerstroms were students of Leopold. Frederick was Leopold’s only graduate student and Francis was his only female student. Through the years, I have made numerous observations pertaining to the LAND ETHIC. Read More
With the large eruption of snowy owls throughout the Northeastern United States banders scrambled to catch and band as many as possible in an effort to learn more about these amazing creatures. We banded 9 owls along the mighty St. Lawrence River and surrounding areas.
So far during our 13th kestrel season, we have banded 171 kestrel chicks and we still have 19 nest boxes that had eggs during the original check. Our all time high number of kestrel chicks banded in 1 season is 175 and we are ready to obliterate that number~
The St. Lawrence River Valley kestrel population is doing well on my 286,000 acre study area since we started our nest box study. In 2002 there were 51 kestrels and the population hit a high of 304 during the 2010 season and for the past 3 years we have hovered between 280 (2011 and 2012) and 290 (2013). We banded 105 chicks and we still have 1 box with chicks and 4 boxes with eggs that need to be checked. Not bad when you think the first season we only banded 15 chicks and it took us 5 seasons to break 100 chicks banded for the year.