Wednesday, Nov. 9 -- Goodbye Coco, Hello Diana

Two teams met at San Andreas Lake to monitor Coco, while Larry and Ron headed to the GGRO Headquarters to be prepared to put a transmitter on our next tracking bird..... if the banders are able to provide one.  [Phil reported in the End-of-the-Day Message that "we likely had a visual.  Coco seemed quite content."]

I've been reminding the Banding Dayleader, David (aka my husband), that we would really like a new bird today; so the banding team was ready and very willing to provide one.  Bingo... before 10:30 POAK blind called the telemetry team saying that they may have our bird.  First checked for health, and feather condition, it looked like we had a new, juvenile redtail to track.  Gender?  They still had to check.  Weight was >1200 grams.... (much larger than Coco's 800+), and the tarsus measurement confirmed that we had a big, beautiful, female RT to track.  Now to come up with a name.... a "D" name.  Hawkwatchers, banders and office staff offered ideas, some good, some not-so (sure Dumbo knew how to fly, but we are NOT naming this bird Dumbo!). Delilah had several votes, and then Cheryl (long time tracker out at San Andreas Lake with Coco) suggested 'Diana the Huntress'.  Ah, a dignified, appropriate name for a hunter!

So, two teams re-positioned themselves for the release of Diana with one team to the south on San Bruno Mt., and the second on San Pablo Ridge in the East Bay.  Down at Building 1064 Larry applied the transmitter, and then he and Ron headed up to Hawk Hill to release Diana.  And she's off.  Almost immediately, she began flying NORTH!  The team on San Bruno had early bearings then lost the signal.  Larry and Ron were the traveling team, trying to keep up with Diana.  Cheryl (Queen of San Pablo Ridge) clicked off the bearings through Mill Valley, Larkspur, San Rafael and northward.  Diana was rapidly flying northward through Marin Co. [Phil's message that evening included "The San Pablo team kept us in the game."]

Phil and Mike headed from San Bruno Mt. to Mt. Burdell..... one giant leap.  Upon arriving, they picked up a loud, strong signal and determined that Diana was still to the northwest of them!  Then the signal was lost.  It was after 4 PM, so Diana probably just moved locally perhaps settling down for the evening.  The teams tomorrow will have to zero in on her location.

So, two birds in one day.  The transition to a new bird went great.  And at the end of the day the teams have moved through five counties.... but they've kept up with Diana.

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