I was out on a photography adventure day this last Friday. I got rained out of the first stop… I got soaked. I was able to get a couple shots for my BORN apparel before the rain attacked us so that was good. As we were driving to our next location I spotted a bird on a wire with a big orange tag on his right wing. I didn’t know what the tag was for. It was my first time seeing a tag like this. I thought the bird was a Red-Tailed Hawk but it didn’t have a reddish tail… I’m still figuring our my birds. I took a couple pictures of it sitting in the rain and then we drove off.
A few days later I posted on my Instagram about the tagged bird. I knew there would be someone that knows more about birds that might have an idea about the tag. Soon after my post a few gave me some great suggestions. Then another photographer that had seen one told me about it. He shared a post on his blog and from there and his comments on IG I was on the right trail to finding out about the tag.
I emailed Pacific Habitat services and he forwarded my email to their ornithologist. She contacted me and told me ” This red-tail, 3/Z:3/Z, was caught at PDX and released near Stayton back on 8/23/16. It returned to PDX in mid-December and has been seen in the area off an on since that time. ” She told me about the website www.pdxraptors.com, I went to the site and reported the hawk, the tag number and where I saw him. The site says they are trying to reduce the risk of wildlife strikes so they capture and tag the birds and then re-home them far away hoping they don’t return to the PDX airport.
I learned the importance of reporting tagged animals and I will be sure to do it again in the future. It helps them know info that they otherwise wouldn’t have without watchers reporting sightings.