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Migration eUpdate for November 22

This week on the Mountain

Holiday: The Visitor Center will close at 1 pm on Wednesday and reopen on Friday, November 25 at 8 am. The count WILL continue on Thanksgiving and trails are open dawn to dusk. For visitor safety, all trails will close on Monday and Tuesday, November 28 and 29, the first two days of Pennsylvania's deer hunting season.

Weather this Week:

A low pressure system to our north will bring strong (20-23 mph) northwest winds and cloudy skies on Monday.  Winds will lighten a bit on Tuesday and become calm on Wednesday as weak high pressure builds in from the northwest.  Another low is expected to bring a chance of rain on Thanksgiving and light winds on Friday.  As the low moves off the coast on Friday night it is expected to strengthen giving us moderate northwest winds for the weekend. 

What's flying this week:

Colder temperatures and snow to our north will hopefully bring a pulse of birds past the lookout this week.  Redtails will still dominate the flights, but keep an eye out for rough-legged hawks.  Late November and early December are some of the best times to see roughlegs.  Sightings of northern goshawks should increase as we approach their peak at the end of November.  Golden and bald eagles should continue to be seen windy days.  Given the forecast, Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday look to be the best migration days this week.

Rough-legged hawk by Bill Moses

Count to date

SpeciesWeekly Total*Season Total*Ten-Year Average
Black Vulture0
Turkey Vulture14585560
Bald Eagle17385313
Northern Harrier0108175
Sharp-shinned Hawk829504666
Cooper's Hawk5365
Northern Goshawk23032
Unidentified Accipiter491
Red-shouldered Hawk0140171
Broad-winged Hawk093617723
Red-tailed Hawk4320142302
Rough-legged Hawk001
Unidentified Buteo058
Golden Eagle4109136
Unidentified Eagle02
American Kestrel0217410
Peregrine Falcon04860
Unidentified Falcon021
Unidentified Hawk078

*Count data is through November 23, 2016. Redtail by John Stetson.

Last Week's Flight

Light winds and warm temperatures slowed the flight for much of the past week, with daily counts less than 15 birds on most days.  The highest count was on  Thursday with 31 raptors counted including 3 bald eagles, a goshawk, 17 red-tailed hawks and 2 golden eagles.  Gusty west-northwest winds and snow squalls didn't deter bald eagles from migrating on Sunday; 11 bald eagles were counted along with a Cooper's hawk, 2 red-tailed hawks and a golden eagle.  Other highlights this past week include a close adult goshawk at eye level on Wednesday and a late osprey on Saturday. 

(Snowy view from North Lookout by Bill Moses)

Other Migrants

Flights of non-raptors were light this past week, but we did have a few highlights; a flock of 18 snow buntings was seen on Tuesday, a red crossbill was heard flying past the lookout on Thursday, a season high 323 American goldfinches was counted on Friday and a flock of 12 pine siskins was counted on Sunday.

Pine Siskins by Mary Linkevich.

Holiday Open House: Saturday, Nov 26

Family and friends visiting for Thanksgiving? Bring them to our annual Holiday Open House this Saturday for complimentary hot beverages, our live raptor program, and more!

The live Raptors Up Close program will take place at 11am and 2pm. Children's crafts will be held from 12-2.

In spirit of Small Business Saturday, anyone  who purchases a membership that day will receive 3 free months and a complimentary gift. The Mountain Raffle will also come to a close with the official drawing for each item at 3 pm. 

Other news

Amazon Smile
If you're planning to use Amazon this holiday season, try AmazonSmile. Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase to support Hawk Mountain! Click here to learn more and find us now

#GivingTuesday: Tuesday, November 29
Have you heard? We're an official partner of the global #GivingTuesday movement! In ONE WEEK, 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! 

Christmas Bird Count for Kids: Saturday, December 3
Geared for ages 8-16 and parents, this CBC4Kids event combines learning about birds with bird identification, citizen science, and having fun! Youth will be divided into small groups for binocular basics and birding basics boot camps. Outfitted with binoculars and a short local winter bird list and field guides, teams head out on specific routes on the Sanctuary to search for and identify birds. 

Happy Thanksgiving

As we fast approach Thanksgiving, all of us at Hawk Mountain send the very best to you and yours for a wonderful holiday. We are so thankful to have your support, today and every day.

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

Gigi Romano
Communications Specialist
[email protected]

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