Sunday, April 19, 2009

Great 4-Day Stretch at College Creek Hawkwatch

Following 2 days of rain, the period from April 16-19 was excellent, with a total of 250 birds of 11 species! On 4-19 the total was 120, the 3rd day of 100+ for the season: there were 9 Northern Harriers, which ties the daily record...there were 3 Merlins, which ties the daily record...there were 37 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 shy of the daily record and there were 7 Red-tailed Hawks, 2 shy of the daily record. There were also 47 Turkey Vultures, 10 Ospreys, 2 Broad-winged Hawks and 5 American Kestrels. The 5 American Kestrels were much welcomed as the season totals for that species from 2005-2008 were only 15, 10, 18 and 12 respectively.

The total of 73 hawks is the highest daily total for hawk species (not including vultures).

The season total now stands at 1,264, on pace to pass the season record of 1,666.

Brian Taber

Hawk Crew at College Creek Hawkwatch 4-17-09


Left to right...Fred Blystone, Bill Williams, Dr. Mitchell Byrd & Tom Armour

Thursday, April 16, 2009

9 Species at College Creek Hawkwatch

Today, April 16th, 2009, was a nice surprise for both birds and weather at the hawkwatch. The forecast was for strong north winds and chilly temperatures, following 2 days of rain. Though the wind was strong, the temperature warmed quickly and an impressive 9 species of hawks and vultures decided to move across the river anyway! Bill Williams and I found 1 Black Vulture, 19 Turkey Vultures, 13 Ospreys, 4 Bald Eagles, 2 Northern Harriers, 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 Cooper's Hawk, 1 Red-tailed Hawk and 4 American Kestrels for a decent total of 47. Another 10-20 Bald Eagles circled and fished and didn't apear to move north today.

Brian Taber

Monday, April 13, 2009

1,000th Bird at College Creek Hawkwatch

Today, April 13, 2009, we recorded our 1,000th bird for the season...it was a Turkey Vulture. We like to track this seasonal milestone as an indication of the progress of the migration. By comparison, the 1,000th bird for 2008 was on a very late date, May 13th. In 2007, when we set our seasonal record of 1,666, the 1,000th bird was seen on the very early date of April 2nd.

For the past 3 weeks, the weather has mostly been quite cool and wet and windy...poor migration conditions, though there have been some birds moving each day, except during rain. A few Broad-winged Hawks have been reported already and should be showing up here regularly with the next wave of warm air.

Also today was our first Cattle Egret of the season.

Brian Taber