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Migration eUpdate for Oct 4

Sharpies and Cooper's hawks

Weather this Week

A cold front pass through on Monday which may produce a light shower, but will also bring northwest winds.  High pressure will build in behind the front with mostly sunny skies and above average temperatures.  High pressure to the northeast will produce easterly or northeasterly winds for most of the week.  A cold front is forecast to move through late Saturday.

What’s Flying this Week

There will be a shift in the migration composition this week; sharp-shinned and Cooper's hawks will be the most numerous migrants along with osprey.  Now is the best time to see falcons and American kestrels, merlins and peregrine falcons should be seen daily. Double digit flights of peregrines are possible any day, but especially on those days with northwest winds. On October 3, 2002 a record 31 peregrines flew past the lookout smashing the old record of 16.

Peregrine falcon by Kevan Sunderland

Last Week at the Lookout

Windy conditions on Monday produced an excellent eagle flight; 14 bald eagles and an unexpected three golden eagles were counted.  Also seen on Monday were 16 osprey, 8 harriers, 34 sharp-shinned hawks, 5 merlins and 2 peregrine falcons.  Peregrines continued to move through on Tuesday and Wednesday with three counted each day.  The approaching rain on Wednesday brought a flurry of activity as a bald eagle, a northern harrier and a flock of 184 broad-winged hawks streamed over the lookout minutes before the rain started.  Rain and fog plagued the lookout the last half of the week and only 13 birds were recorded Thursday through Sunday.  

Other Migrants

Flocks of blue jays continue to migrate past the lookout; 121 blue jays were counted on Monday and 229 were counted on Wednesday.  Woodpecker migration continues as well with red-bellied woodpeckers seen most days and the first yellow-bellied sapsucker of the fall seen on Tuesday.  Other highlights this past week include 278 Canada geese on Monday, tree swallows seen on Monday and Tuesday, and two Swainson's thrushes seen eating mountain ash berries on the lookout on Saturday.

Blue Jay

Count to Date

SpeciesWeekly Total*Season Total*
Black Vulture016
Turkey Vulture1862
Bald Eagle26
Northern Harrier13
Sharp-shinned Hawk94
Cooper's Hawk17
Northern Goshawk00
Unidentified Accipiter4
Red-shouldered Hawk1
Broad-winged Hawk308
Red-tailed Hawk11179
Rough-legged Hawk00
Unidentified Buteo1
Golden Eagle3
Unidentified Eagle00
American Kestrel4
Peregrine Falcon8
Unidentified Falcon311
Unidentified Raptor3

*Count data is through October 3, 2015. Perched merlin by Sue Schmoyer.

Upcoming Events

Wee Ones Walk: Wednesday, October 15
$5, free for Members, Visitor Center, 10 am
Designed for children aged 3 to 5, this program is a great way to get young people interested in spending more time outdoors. The group will join an educator for a children's story and nature activity followed by a short outdoor hike and culminating craft. This week's theme is earthworms!

5th Autumn Lecture: Dr. Anita Collins
Native Bees of Pennsylvania: Saturday, October 15
FREE, Visitor Center, 5:30 pm
Join Dr. Collins in this fascinating discussion of the diversity and importance of Pennsylvania’s native bees, from their beauty and biology to current conservation efforts.
(Bee photo by Bill Moses) 

Swarovski Optics Day: Saturday, Oct 22
FREE, Visitor Center, 10 am-3 pm 

6th Autumn Lecture: Deirdre Murphy
The Intersection of Art and Science: Saturday, October 29
Free, Visitor Center, 5:30 pm


Mountain Update: News & Notes

Check out our new FAQ page!

Mountain Raffle
Top Prize: Swarovski 8.5x42 EL Binoculars
Tickets now on sale in the Visitor Center or call us to enter by phone with credit card: 610-756-6961

Enter Your Fave Pix
Submit your most amazing Hawk Mountain photo through November 20. Cost is just $5 and all proceeds support Hawk Mountain. Easy online entry, a great cause, and cash prizes. Enter now!

Calling all Young Birders
Are you or someone you know between 8 and 18 years old and interested in birds? Hawk Mountain can connect you with its huge network of experts, resources, and enthusiastic birders. To learn more and complete an application, just email Mary-Therese Grob or call Mary Therese at 610-756-6000 x200.   

Updated Trail Maps 
The updated Hawk Mountain trail guide is now available at the Visitor Center bookstore, Info Pavilion, and the trail entrance. It can also be downloaded and printed out for free! The info pavilion houses the large trail map and new trail guide holders, filled with the map and QR Code trail guide.

HMANA Upcoming Tour
Our partner Hawk Migration Association of North America is hosting a self-drive getaway to Cape May, NJ on Oct 14 - 16, during the peak of accipiter and falcon migration. This get-together is to be the first of a series of low-cost events that will help HMANA members meet, network, and make friends across the country. Local expertise will be provided by HMANA board member Tom Reed, a native Cape May hawkwatcher. Click here for more info. 

Hope to see you on the Mountain

Check out our website for the full list of Autumn Lectures or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to keep updated on the very latest programs and news. And you can always follow the hawk watch by checking in at our Raptor Count Page or calling the Count Info Line at 610-756-6000 x6.

A shout-out to our Research Biologist David Barber for providing us the weekly migration and weather report that starts this email, and thank you for your ongoing support. We hope to see you on the Mountain sometime soon!

Happy hawk watching,

Gigi Romano
Communications Specialist
[email protected]

P.S.  If you shop using Amazon, try AmazonSmile. You can designate a portion of your purchase to support Hawk Mountain. Click here to learn more and find us now. Every donation helps!

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