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Record-Breaking Raptor Migration

Each spring thousands of birds of prey migrate through Manitoba’s premier raptor migration corridor located 25 kilo-metres southwest of Morden. By taking advantage of thermals and winds over the valley, these birds are able to make their journey less energy demanding by flapping less and gliding more.

The number of raptors migrating through this corridor is the highest known in Manitoba, and the Pembina Valley is the top spot in North America for numbers of spring-migrating red-tailed hawks.

During the 2010 spring count, dedicated raptor counters braved variable weather conditions from late February to mid-April documenting the greatest Manitoba raptor migration recorded to date. Over 11,000 raptors of 15 species were seen including bald eagles, golden eagles and turkey vultures. Red-tailed hawk numbers alone soared to nearly 8,300, while bald eagle numbers reached just over 1,200, thereby achieving the second-highest count in the history of the Pembina Valley count for red-tailed

hawks and third highest for bald eagles. Golden eagles, rarely seen in other parts of Manitoba, achieved a record-breaking count of 95. Highest- known record numbers in Manitoba were turkey vultures (190) and sharp-shinned hawks (919).

A Rocha ( www.arocha.org), a nonprofi t conservation organization, is active in 18 countries around the world. The 2010 count in Manitoba’s Pembina Valley was A Rocha’s sixth survey of migrating spring raptors.

For more information contact Paul Goossen at 204-822-2087 or email [email protected]

JAKE HIEBERT SUPPLIED PHOTO

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