2014 Migration Summary

Record peregrines

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. Counters at Hawk Mountain tallied 17,382 raptors this fall with 17,379 during the official count period, August 15 to December 15. New season records were set for peregrine falcon (88) and turkey vulture (936), and a single-day count of 247 turkey vultures was also a new record. 
Bald and golden eagles were both above average with bald eagles falling a few birds short of a new record, but black vultures and merlins were the only other species with above average counts. Counters also tallied two rough-legged hawks, the first time since 2008 to have more than one. 

Seven species fell below their 10-year average: osprey, northern harrier, Cooper's hawk, northern goshawk, broad-winged hawk, red-tailed hawk, and American kestrel.   Unfortunately for harriers and redtails, this continues their  short- and long-term decline. (Peregrine falcon photo by Bill Moses)
In addition to the raptors, counters also recorded 79,240 non-raptor migrants, including 887 butterflies and 411 dragonflies. Some totals included 27,415 Canada geese, 528 snow geese, 1,324 double-crested cormorants, 2,024 barn swallows, 2,414 tree swallows, 5,021 blue jays, 2,947 American crows, and 4,723 pine siskins. 
Some of the notable single-day counts included:
84 tundra swans on November 19
29 common nighthawks on September 1
1,153 barn swallows on August 15
635 pine siskins on October 21
Some notable big flight days included:
September 23 when counters tallied six species of woodpeckers, four species of flycatchers, five species of vireo, 11 species of warblers, among them 44 Cape May and 113 black-throated green. 
September 27 when 11 species of warblers were counted including a record 72 blackpoll warblers along with 90 ruby-crowned kinglets, and a brown thrasher. (Counter's pit at North Lookout photo boy Phil Cambell)

Visit our Raptor Count page to view the full 2014 Autumn Count.