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eUpdate for December 6

This week on the Mountain

Reminder: For visitor safety during deer hunting season, the River of Rocks and Skyline Trails are closed through Saturday.

Weather this Week:

Rain and light snow is expected Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday morning as low pressure moves up from southeast.  Wednesday afternoon is forecast to be mostly sunny and light northwest winds.  A strong cold front is expected to move through late Thursday bringing the coldest air so far this season.  Winds are forecast to be out of the northwest 10-15 mph and wind chills will hover in the low 20s for both Friday and Saturday.  Sunday will be warmer with light south winds.  

What's flying this week:

Wednesday, Friday and Saturday look to be the best migration days this week.  The cold northwest winds on Friday and Saturday should bring another pulse of bald eagles past the lookout.  Other migrants expected to be seen this week are northern goshawks, red-tailed hawk and golden eagles.  It's also possible to see a rough-legged hawk with the greatest chance on Friday or Saturday.

Count to date

SpeciesWeekly Total*Season Total*
Black Vulture191
Turkey Vulture1595
Bald Eagle51457
Northern Harrier2114
Sharp-shinned Hawk102961
Cooper's Hawk1370
Northern Goshawk233
Unidentified Accipiter192
Red-shouldered Hawk1148
Broad-winged Hawk09361
Red-tailed Hawk322137
Rough-legged Hawk01
Unidentified Buteo059
Golden Eagle7122
Unidentified Eagle02
American Kestrel0217
Peregrine Falcon048
Unidentified Falcon021
Unidentified Hawk079

*Count data is through December 6, 2016. View from North Lookout by Mary Linkevich.

Last Week's Flight

Light winds and rain stalled the migration for the first half of the week, but a strong cold front brought a parade of Bald Eagles for the latter half of the week and a new season record for balds.  The old season high count record was 406 and it didn't take long on Thursday to set a new record with bald eagle #407 soaring past.  By day's end the new record would be 419.  Another 10 bald eagles passed the lookout on Friday and a season high 22 bald eagles were counted on Saturday.  Four more eagles passed on Sunday for a current record of 455! 

Other highlights this past week include golden eagles seen daily Thursday through Sunday, 17 red-tailed hawks and a merlin on Sunday and a very close adult northern goshawk on Sunday. 

Bald eagle photo by Bill Moses

Other Migrants

The first flock of snow geese was spotted on Thursday.  Small flocks of American goldfinches continue to pass the lookout daily.  The largest flight was on Monday with 184 goldfinches.  Other "winter finches" seen this past week were purple finches on Saturday and Sunday and 5 pine siskins on Friday.  Other highlights this past week include 16 common ravens on Saturday and 398 Canada geese on Sunday.

See you on the Mountain

The eagles can't stay away from the Lookout, so neither should you! Fit in one more visit before the end of the season. In the meantime, our staff and volunteers will continue to watch for migrants daily through December 15. It won't be long until another season is in the books!

Happy hawkwatching, friends, and we hope to see you very soon.

Gigi Romano
Communications Specialist

P.S. Shopping on Amazon for those holiday gifts? Be sure to go through AmazonSmile so Amazon donates a portion of your purchase to the Sanctuary! As always, we appreciate your amazing support. 

©2011 Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. All rights reserved.
1700 Hawk Mountain Rd, Kempton, PA 19529 Phone: (610) 756-6961 Fax: (610) 756-4468