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Hoary Redpoll and WRS Part 2

Alex Lamoreaux|

Due to a closed bridge, I was only able to access the western two-thirds of my Winter Raptor Survey (link to Part 1), so today Josh Lefever and I ran the last third as its own survey. The weather was great, with a bright sun and blue skies accentuating the snow-covered stripmines of northern Centre County, Pennsylvania. Within the first half hour of our survey we encountered 2 Red-tailed Hawks and an adult Red-shouldered Hawk. We also spotted an adult Golden Eagle soaring in the distance with 5 Common Ravens! I was so happy to have finally found a wintering Golden Eagle up on the stripmines, since we have figured they must use the area but no one had ever seen one up there. About halfway during the survey, we spotted a flock of Common Redpolls foraging in a stand of larches. We walked over to get a better look and counted 80 individuals redpolls and were able to pick out a very cooeprative Hoary Redpoll! My second ever, and second so far this month in Centre County! This is also the 4th documented record for Centre County, ever! Later during the survey we spotted an adult male light type Rough-legged Hawk and then saw a distant adult Golden Eagle soaring around….we weren’t sure if this was the same one we saw earlier or not.

Hoary Redpoll on Kato-Orviston Rd, Centre County, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Hoary Redpoll on Kato-Orviston Rd, Centre County, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Hoary Redpoll on Kato-Orviston Rd, Centre County, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Hoary Redpoll on Kato-Orviston Rd, Centre County, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

 

Red-shouldered Hawk (adult) - One of the most common raptors on the stripmines during winter. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Red-shouldered Hawk (adult) – One of the most common raptors on the stripmines during winter. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Common Raven - a nice addition to any winter day. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Common Raven – a nice addition to any winter day. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

 

About the Author

Alex Lamoreaux

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Alex Lamoreaux has been an avid birder and naturalist since he was a youngster, growing up exploring the farmland and Appalachian ridges near Hershey, Pennsylvania. He attended Penn State University, studying wildlife biology. Alex has traveled extensively throughout North America, Central America, and South Africa and is a freelance nature tour guide, field biologist, and wildlife photographer. Alex has worked on wildlife research projects ranging from Whimbrel migration along the coast of Virginia to Yellow-billed Cuckoo nesting in the desert southwest. He has been the migration counter at the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory for the past two fall seasons, documenting the massive visible migration of raptors and songbirds along Lake Superior. Alex loves to share his knowledge of nature, and strives to bring the birding community together to share in the fun that studying birds and wildlife has to offer. He has helped to organize and coordinate birding events in his home state of Pennsylvania and beyond. Contact Info Alex Lamoreaux aslamoreaux@gmail.com (717) 943-7086

  • Mike Weible

    Very nice find!

  • Mike Weible

    I had a wintering Golden Eagle in Clearfield county a couple of years ago in a reclaimed strip mine area near Luthersburg. It would hunt low over the fields like a Rough-legged Hawk.