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Migration eUpdate for Nov 15

Redtails, goshawks, and eagles

Weather this Week

A low pressure system over the southern U.S. is expected to lift north bringing a chance of rain on Tuesday morning.  A weak cold front is forecast to move through Wednesday night followed by high pressure which will dominate the weather through the rest of the week.  Another cold may affect our region on Sunday. Winds are forecast to be light (< 10 mph) for the entire week, with stronger winds accompanying the cold front late in the week.  

What's flying this week

Flights will probably be light most days this week with red-tailed hawks still making up a large proportion of the flights.  Lingering red-shouldered hawks and northern harriers may also be seen migrating past the lookout.  Both bald and golden eagles are possible any day this week, but with light winds may be migrating past the lookout high and out over the valley.  The next two weeks are the best time to see northern goshawks and are possible any day, although the best chances of seeing these heavy bodied accipiters are on days with strong northwest winds. 

Northern Goshawk by Holly Merker


Count to Date

SpeciesWeekly Total*Season Total*
Black Vulture679
Turkey Vulture42574
Osprey0342
Bald Eagle14354
Northern Harrier2107
Sharp-shinned Hawk202945
Cooper's Hawk7360
Northern Goshawk827
Unidentified Accipiter289
Red-shouldered Hawk17140
Broad-winged Hawk09361
Red-tailed Hawk1221960
Rough-legged Hawk00
Unidentified Buteo158
Golden Eagle11102
Unidentified Eagle12
American Kestrel0217
Merlin3189
Peregrine Falcon148
Unidentified Falcon021
Unidentified Raptor278
TOTAL25917,053

*Count data is through November 14, 2016. Redtail by Bill Moses


Last Week at the Lookout

Light winds and above average temperatures stalled the flight for much of the past week, with daily counts less than 50 birds.  The best day was Friday with 105 raptors counted including 25 turkey vultures, 6 bald eagles, 3 northern goshawks, 43 red-tailed hawks and a merlin.  Northern goshawks and bald eagles were seen most days this past week.  Other highlights include, seven red-shouldered hawks on Thursday and a peregrine falcon on Saturday. 

Conservation Science Trainee Sorrell at the lookout.


Other Migrants

Flights of both American goldfinches and American crows increased the latter half of this past week.  A high of 207 goldfinches were counted on Thursday flying past in flocks of up to 30 birds.  A high of 209 crows were counted on Friday, followed by 152 on Saturday and 195 on Sunday.  Flocks of mixed species of blackbirds continue to be seen daily.  The non-raptor of the week was an evening grosbeak that sat in a tree for five minutes and called repeatedly on Saturday.  This is the first time since 2012 that an evening grosbeak has been seen or heard on the Sanctuary.  Other highlights this past week include, four eastern bluebirds on Tuesday, a snow bunting and rusty blackbird on Thursday, and a red-throated loon on Saturday.

American goldfinch by Bill Moses


Kick off the Holidays!

Holiday Open House: Saturday, Nov 26 
Get into the holiday spirit at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary during our annual end of season open house. Are friends and family home for the holiday? Bring them to the Sanctuary for complimentary hot beverages, our live raptor program, and more. 

Mountain Raffle: Win Swarovski 8.5x42 ELs!!
Want to see as far as an eagle? Enter now to win a pair of Swarovski 8.5x42 EL binoculars and other great prizes! 

Tickets available at the Visitor Center or purchase by phone (610/756-6961610/756-6961) with credit card. Drawing held at the Open House at 3 pm on Sat, Nov 26. You do not need to be present to win. Tickets for sale through 2 pm on the day of the drawing.

Small Business Saturday:
At the Holiday Open House, anyone  who purchases a membership that day will receive 3 free months and a complimentary gift! 

#GivingTuesday: Tuesday, November 29
Have you heard? We're an official partner of the global #GivingTuesday movement! On the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, help us #HelptheHawks by giving a monetary gift to our Annual Fund. Your support helps us continue our important work here at the Sanctuary and across the globe! 

Hope to see you soon

The leaves have started to fall, but mild weather is sticking around. I hope that means we have a chance to see you before winter settles in! Barring rain and poor visibility, our counters will continue to tally migrants through December 15 and those chilly, windy days are precisely the best time to see close-flying raptors.

Reminder: For visitor safety, all trails are closed on the first two days of Pennsylvania deer hunting season - Nov 28 & 29. Visitor Center remains open daily from 9 AM - 5 PM.

If you don't have a chance to visit, please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for photos, news, and program info or check in on our Raptor Count Page. As always, we THANK YOU for supporting Hawk Mountain!!

Gigi Romano
Communications Specialist
[email protected]

P.S.  If you're planning to use Amazon this holiday season, 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

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