Meet our two new birds – a harlani from Utah, and an abieticola from Vermont


Grogu is a fourth-cycle dark morph harlani captured in Salt Lake City, Utah on 18 December 2020. The primary molt limits on this individual indicate an after third-cycle, but we actually know the age of Grogu because the bird was caught and banded at the Salt Lake International airport in 2018, when it was in second-cycle plumage. So, Grogu is in its fourth-cycle this winter.

The folks at Salt Lake International Airport capture and relocate birds in an effort to eliminate bird-airplane collisions. A collaborator at HawkWatch International, Jesse Watson, reached out to them this winter to ask them if they would be willing to cooperate to get transmitters on harlani or any other birds of interest. They agreed, and Grogu is the first from that cooperation!

Grogu was released in the desert west of Salt Lake City, and we are getting location data already! We’re excited to see where the bird ends up over the next year, and will share as we go along.


Goodrich is an after third-cycle, relatively lightly marked abieticola (or perhaps intermediate between abieticola and borealis) captured in Addison County, Vermont on 20 December 2020. We’re not exactly sure what to expect out of this bird, so in this way this individual will help us understand the connection between the more heavily marked abieticola, and these lighter, or more intermediate birds. This bird could breed quite far north, or it simply could breed more locally in northern Vermont, or southern Quebec. We will see!

Bryce had the privilege of spending a few days in western Vermont, working with folks from the Vermont Institute for Natural Sciences (VINS) to get out a transmitter for a collaboration with the Red-tailed Hawk Project on a winter home range study they are conducting. We’re excited to see where Goodrich ends up to breed, and will share as the data comes in.

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