Science News at Hawk Mountain

An improved definition for raptors, and a new species joins the flock!

Posted on December 10, 2019 in Science

Hawk Mountain scientist Jean-Francois Therrien has collaborated with The Peregrine fund on a recently published peer reviewed paper titled “Commentary: Defining Raptors and Birds of Prey”. The paper, published in the Journal of Raptor Research, presents an updated standard definition for the term “raptor” and also determines that two South American species, the seriemas, may technically be raptors.

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Six-legged Sky Jewels

Posted on December 02, 2019 in Science

Dragonflies' migratory patterns have stumped researchers for decades, yet in the age of efficient tracking technology and citizen science, answers are on the horizon. At Hawk Mountain we contribute data on the numbers of migratory dragonflies that zip past our watch sites.

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Living on the Edge

Posted on November 04, 2019 in Science

Former trainee and current PhD student Rebecca McCabe is collaborating with Dr. Laurie Goodrich and colleagues at East Stroudsburg University to study the nesting ecology of broad-winged hawks in three regions of Pennsylvania.

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Age: More Than Just a Number

Posted on September 30, 2019 in Science

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Collaborative Raptor Research on Bylot Island Further Proves Climate Change

Posted on September 24, 2019 in Science

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Urbanite Peregrines on the Move

Posted on June 27, 2019 in Science

Hawk Mountain is assisting the Pennsylvania Game Commission in deploying nanotags on peregrine fledglings from several nests in the state, including one appropriately located on top of the Rachel Carson building in Harrisburg.

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Hawk Mountain streamlines Science Department with promotions and new hire

Posted on June 25, 2019 in Science

These personnel changes have better streamlined the department and will expand the Sanctuary’s research efforts moving forward.

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Spring Migration Wrap-Up

Posted on May 30, 2019 in Science

Each year the Spring Migration Hawk Watch officially runs from April 1 through May 15. Overall, the count was a little below the 10-year average of 983 raptors.

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PPL Electric Utilities partners with Hawk Mountain Sanctuary on Peregrine Tracking

Posted on March 26, 2019 in Science

Peregrine falcons are once again making their presence known around PPL's 23-story headquarters in downtown Allentown, giving rise to hope they'll once again nest near the top of the iconic building.

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Black harrier research: west to east migration?

Posted on February 25, 2019 in Science

Dr. Marie Sophie, a former leadership trainee, recently published a paper on the migratory patterns and settlement areas of the Black Harrier in Southern Africa.

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Ghosts of the Grassland: Farmland Raptor Research

Posted on January 24, 2019 in Science

Dr. Laurie Goodrich co-authors a paper on the decline in farmland raptors

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Hawk Mountain selects Dr. Laurie Goodrich as Sarkis Acopian Director of Conservation Science

Posted on January 16, 2019 in Science

Dr. Laurie Goodrich selected to lead Hawk Mountain's local-to-global programs in raptor conservation science.

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Autumn 2018 Migration Wrap-Up

Posted on January 04, 2019 in Science

Despite the less-than-desirable weather, bald eagles, sharp-shinned hawks, Cooper's hawks, red-shouldered hawks, golden eagles, American kestrels, and merlins all had counts above their 10-year average, and bald eagles and merlins has new season count records.

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Kestrel Update: In the Sanctuary’s Backyard and Beyond

Posted on December 17, 2018 in Science

Long-term research at Hawk Mountain reveals continued challenges for the tiny American kestrel in rural farms and fields.

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Turkey Vulture Collaboration with Coastal Raptors

Posted on November 06, 2018 in Science

In June, Hawk Mountain partnered with Coastal Raptors, a non-profit based out of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, with the goal of deploying transmitters on four turkey vultures.

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Dr. Laurie Goodrich receives Conservation and Education Award

Posted on October 23, 2018 in Science

Laurie Goodrich received a prestigious new award for her dedication to raptor conservation and appreciation.

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Broadwing Project ends successful season

Posted on August 02, 2018 in Science

Hawk Mountain scientists tag first male broadwings during the 2018 research season in its long-term study of the movement ecology of broad-winged hawks

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Director of Conservation Science to retire

Posted on July 03, 2018 in Science

Hawk Mountain's first Sarkis Acopian Director of Conservation Science, Dr. Keith Bildstein, has announced he will retire later this year.

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Snowy owl research featured in prestigious journal

Posted on June 14, 2018 in Science

The last chapter of a thesis by Hawk Mountain Graduate Student Audrey Robillard was featured in the May issue of the prestigious Journal of Avian Biology. Audrey worked with Hawk Mountain to study the movement ecology of the snowy owl

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Studying vultures in the Sonoran Desert

Posted on March 09, 2018 in Science

Dr. Keith Bildstein and Senior Research Biologist Dr. Jean-Francois Therrien discuss their recent trip to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona to track and tag turkey and black vultures.

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Trainees study local black vulture movements

Posted on January 08, 2018 in Science

Conservation science trainee Adehl Schwaderer offered a follow up about Hawk Mountain's new "groundtruthing" field work, where she and a fellow trainee tracked and observed local vultures and their roosting sites. She discussed their successes and tribulations, attempting to trap and tag vultures after tracking them down.

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Trainees Serve as "Vulture Detectives"

Posted on December 26, 2017 in Science

In a recent blog, former conservation science trainee Zoey Greenberg discusses Hawk Mountain's new "groundtruthing" field work, where she and a fellow trainee tracked and observed local vultures and their roosting sites.

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Scientific Paper Reveals New Findings in Soaring Raptors

Posted on November 27, 2017 in Science

Recently published findings by Hawk Mountain Post-doc Maricel Grana Grilli of Argentina reveals that wing size, instead of wing shape, relates to migratory habits in soaring birds like the turkey vulture.

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Hawk Mountain Mentors Spanish Colleagues

Posted on November 14, 2017 in Science

Lola Cano Caballero, The Executive Director of CIMA (Centro por Internacional Migracion de Aves) in Tarifa, Spain, is spending a week at Hawk Mountain exchanging ideas and planning collaborations with Sanctuary scientists and educators.

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Major advance in global raptor monitoring

Posted on October 16, 2017 in Science

On October 16, 2017, a supply ship delivered to the International Space Station a new antenna that will help reduce the cost of tracking raptors globally from more than $4000 a unit to less than $600. The international team that helped jump-start this development met to discuss this ambitious venture at Hawk Mountain in February of 2009.

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New Publication by Hawk Mountain scientists shows seasonal changes in migration timing

Posted on September 27, 2017 in Science

"The study indicated that since 1985, most raptors spend two additional days per decade north of the seven hawkwatch sites. This supports the notion that global change may be having profound impacts on population and ecosystem dynamics in this avian guild."

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New Bald Eagle record at Hawk Mountain

Posted on December 05, 2016 in Science

As of December 5, the count currently stands at 456 bald eagles, and it will continue until December 15.

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Hawk Mountain trainee publishes in peer-reviewed journal

Posted on April 27, 2016 in Science

Adrián Naveda-Rodríguez, a Hawk Mountain Conservation Science Trainee during Spring 2007, has just published the bulk of his Master’s thesis in Biodiversity and Conservation.

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Research reveals a stronghold for a Critically Endangered African vulture

Posted on April 15, 2016 in Science

"Westernmost Gambia, it turns out, is a brilliant bright spot in an otherwise dark sky for hooded vultures, the smallest of Africa’s 11 species of vultures."

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Video shares snapshot of Pennsylvania

Posted on February 26, 2016 in Science

Pablo Santonja Serrano, Alcoi, Spain, an autumn 2015 graduate of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary's acclaimed International Conservation Science Training Program, has shared a video that captures his three months living and learning in Pennsylvania.

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Raptor count ends but hawks still passing

Posted on January 07, 2016 in Science

“That makes January and February a great time to visit, especially to watch for red-tailed hawks and bald eagles.”

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"Vulture Restaurants" aid field work

Posted on December 10, 2015 in Science

I have just returned from 10 days in the field in and around Kruger National Park in northeastern South Africa where temperatures soared to 108 °F, and I have much to report.

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Keith Bildstein elected Fellow of AAAS

Posted on November 23, 2015 in Science

“Keith is a scientific researcher and engaging speaker who has traveled the globe to study and conserve birds of prey worldwide.”

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Post-doc student news

Posted on October 16, 2015 in Science

Her recent award means that following this work,which will take her through 2017, she has a secured position as a raptor biologist in Argentina.

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A rarity for raptor research

Posted on July 07, 2015 in Science

A turkey vulture trapped and tagged with a satellite telemetry unit in 2004 by Hawk Mountain Sanctuary was recently re-sighted more than a decade later and with its transmitter still working.

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Tagged broadwing moves about South America

Posted on February 13, 2015 in Science

“We’re not sure if this is the beginning of a return migration or if she is just wandering, but we look forward to watching her journey and hope to see her return to Pennsylvania this spring.”

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2014 Migration Summary

Posted on December 18, 2014 in Science

Another year is in the books and it was an exciting season of record counts and near misses.

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Goats in the Woods

Posted on July 18, 2014 in Science

This summer, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary embarked on a wooly experiment: testing the use of goats as a no-chemical alternative to invasive plant removal.

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2014 Caterpillar Outbreak

Posted on June 23, 2014 in Science

Hawk Mountain this spring observed a unique outbreak of several defoliating caterpillars, including gypsy moths within the Sanctuary forest.

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Hawk Mountain Research Associate featured in New York Times Science Section

Posted on March 26, 2014 in Science

The New York Times Science section yesterday summarized a recent paper in The Auk by Hawk Mountain Research Associate Dr. Corinne Kendall on the foraging ecology of vultures in Africa, and including quotes by Corinne.

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Former Hawk Mountain trainee in Nigeria receives grant

Posted on March 24, 2014 in Science

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary conservation trainee Fidel Atuo, Nigeria, has received a Rufford Small Grant for Nature Conservation from the Rufford Foundation, a UK-based organization that funds nature conservation in developing countries.

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Filming the Falklands

Posted on March 17, 2014 in Science

Field work in the Falklands took a school yard turn this month as Hawk Mountain's Sarkis Acopian Director of Conservation Science Dr. Keith Bildstein and graduate student Melissa Bobowski presented the inquisitive striated caracaras with a series of intelligence tests.

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New graduate student leads broadwing study

Posted on January 28, 2014 in Science

A recent graduate of Millersville University, Rebecca performed an independent observational study on the nesting behavior of Broad-winged Hawks at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary during which she located nest sites and documented nesting behavior.

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Hawk Mountain research featured in prestigious journal PLoS ONE

Posted on January 10, 2014 in Science

African vultures are famous for quickly finding carcasses, so much so that they are considered clairvoyants in parts of Africa. But just how do vultures know where to find food across vast regions in the first place?

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New study will track long-distance flight of broadwings

Posted on December 04, 2013 in Science

A team of Hawk Mountain biologists in spring 2014 will tag and track up to six juvenile broad-winged hawks that nest on Hawk Mountain, and follow their long-distance journey to wintering grounds in Central and South America.

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Meet Melissa Bobowski

Posted on October 28, 2013 in Science

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Hawk Mountain launches study on Hooded Vultures in Africa

Posted on October 07, 2013 in Science

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Hawk Mountain science featured on National Geographic Education

Posted on October 07, 2013 in Science

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Wing tagging black vultures

Posted on May 13, 2013 in Science

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Hawk Mountain group receives national award for conservation

Posted on April 05, 2013 in Science

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Fieldwork in the Falklands

Posted on February 25, 2013 in Science

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Autumn 2012: A golden migration

Posted on December 29, 2012 in Science

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New paper on Caracara research

Posted on December 17, 2012 in Science

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New record for Golden Eagles

Posted on December 05, 2012 in Science

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Acopian Center 10th Anniversary

Posted on August 29, 2012 in Science

Hawk Mountain celebrates the first ten years of the Acopian Center for Conservation Learning, its three-building biological field station located at the base of Hawk Mountain.

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African vulture expert Corinne Kendall

Posted on May 17, 2012 in Science

Watch a video from the field of Hawk Mountain Graduate Student Corinne Kendall who talks about the African vulture crisis and the hope found in outreach and education, along with what else needs to be done.

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African vultures in big trouble

Posted on April 25, 2012 in Science

African vultures, nearly all of them, are in big trouble. From the once ubiquitous African White-backed and Hooded Vulture to the decidedly less common Lappet-faced and Cape Vulture, all 11 species of Africa’s vultures appear to be in substantial decline. Unintended poisoning, use in both traditional medicine” and the bush meat trade, and widespread habitat loss all are taking their tolls.

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Sanctuary study connects countries and cultures

Posted on November 14, 2011 in Science

Scientists at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, a raptor-migration watchsite in Kempton, Pa, report that, for the first time ever, counters at partner watchsites in Veracruz, Mexico have sighted several of Hawk Mountain's wing-tagged turkey vultures migrating south this autumn. The birds involved were tagged by former Sanctuary intern Adrian Naveda in northwestern Venezuela, and were seen by another former intern in Veracruz, Mexico.

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Scavengers enjoy "vulture restaurants" in Korea

Posted on January 20, 2011 in Science

In a recent post on The Vulture Chronicles, Sarkis Acopian Director of Conservation Science Dr. Keith Bildstein blogs about his recent trip to Korea and how the vultures there are fairing (hint: it's good news!).

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