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Migration eUpdate for Oct 27

Colorful backdrop for raptor migrants

Weather this Week

High pressure in central Canada will build into our region through mid-week bringing favorable weather conditions for migration.  Winds are forecast to be out of the northwest Monday, west on Tuesday and northwest on Wednesday.  A warm front followed quickly by a cold front will move through on Thursday bringing rain Thursday and moderate north-northwest winds on Friday. Another cold front may move through near the end of the weekend.

What’s Flying this Week

We should see the last big flights of sharp-shinned and Cooper's hawks this week with counts of over 100 sharpies possible on days with west or northwest winds.  By week's end red-tailed hawks should become the most abundant migrant.  Now is the best time to see red-shouldered hawks and northern harriers.  Bald and golden eagles should be seen daily on days with moderate to strong winds, which should be most days this week.

Immature bald eagle and sharp-shinned hawk by Bill Moses

Last Week at the Lookout

Warm temperatures didn't deter sharp-shinned hawks from migrating early last week, with counts of 126 sharpies on Tuesday and 187 on Wednesday.  Red-tailed hawk flights also started to increase with 27 counted on Wednesday.  Light winds and unsettled weather stalled the migration at the end of the week, but a strong cold front on Saturday produced the biggest sharpie flight of the season on Sunday.  A total of 217 sharpies were counted along with 16 bald eagles, 44 red-tailed hawks, 4 golden eagles and 4 late ospreys.  Other highlights this past week include, 34 turkey vultures on Monday, 11 merlins on Wednesday, and 8 northern harriers on Thursday. 

Turkey Vulture soaring by this past Sunday by Bill Moses. 

Count to Date

SpeciesWeekly Total*Season Total*
Black Vulture951
Turkey Vulture103447
Bald Eagle40277
Northern Harrier1886
Sharp-shinned Hawk6852475
Cooper's Hawk54280
Northern Goshawk14
Unidentified Accipiter774
Red-shouldered Hawk1040
Broad-winged Hawk09361
Red-tailed Hawk119629
Rough-legged Hawk00
Unidentified Buteo350
Golden Eagle520
Unidentified Eagle01
American Kestrel8216
Peregrine Falcon542
Unidentified Falcon220
Unidentified Raptor466

*Count data is through October 24, 2016. Sunrise at North Lookout by Laurie Goodrich.

Other Migrants

American robins continue to be seen flying past the lookout early in the morning.  Several hundred robins were seen most days with a high of 1193 robins counted  on Thursday.  Monarchs are still migrating through and were seen most days with a high of 17 seen on Wednesday.  The first winter wrens of the fall were seen on Monday and blue headed vireos were counted several days last week.  A pulse of waterfowl/waterbird migration was seen on Sunday with 153 Canada geese, 5 common loons and 98 double-crested cormorants.  Other highlights this past week include, 2 green darner dragonflies on Monday, a porcupine visiting the lookout on Tuesday, a gray-cheeked thrush on Wednesday, and a pine siskin on Friday.

Photo: Blue-headed vireo by Bill Moses. 

Upcoming Events

Drawing from Raptors: Sat, October 29
$20, $10 for members, Education Building, 10 am
Philadelphia-based contemporary artist and Adjunct Professor of Fine Art at the University of Pennsylvania Deirdre Murphy will teach drawing from live American Kestrels and/or Screech Owls that are part of the collection at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. 

Finale Autumn Lecture: Deirdre Murphy
The Intersection of Art and Science: Sat, October 29
Free, Visitor Center, 5:30 pm
Deirdre Murphy will speak about her paintings and how her artist residency at Hawk Mountain in 2015 has informed her studio practice. (Photo: Red Bud by Deirdre Murphy)

Golden Eagle Saturday: Sat, Nov 12
Programs at 10 am, 12 pm, and 2 pm. Guaranteed close-up look at a Golden Eagle courtesy of our friends at Shaver's Creek Environmental Center. FREE for Members or with proof of trail admission. Please have your trail admission sticker or membership card ready.

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: 610-756-6961610-756-6961 .   

Digital Photo Contest
Submit your most amazing photos using our simple online entry form through November 20. Cost is just $5 and all proceeds support Hawk Mountain. Great cause, cash prizes, and fantastic subject--Hawk Mountain! Enter now!


Hope to see you soon!

Fall foliage is at its peak, so if you haven't seen the color, please stop by for a visit. Now also is the time of year when you can see the best diversity of raptor species including the chance to see both a bald and a golden eagle in the sky at the same time.

If you don't have a chance to visit, please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for photos, news, and program info and follow the daily, weekly, and seasonal count on the Raptor Count Page or by calling the Info Line at 610-756-6000610-756-6000 x6.

Happy hawk watching, friends, and I hope to see you on the Mountain sometime very soon!

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.

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