Spring 2024 Migration Hawk Watch Recap

Posted on June 03, 2024 in Science

Bald Eagle in Flight
Bald eagle, photo by Bill Moses

Hawk Mountain’s annual Spring Migration Hawkwatch officially runs from April 1 through May 15. This year’s count was 6% above the 10-year average with a total of 1,001 raptors and 14 species noted.

The count ended with a whimper as low clouds shrouded the mountain on May 15. Clouds lifted in the afternoon, but no migrating raptors were counted. The last official migrant of the 2024 spring count was an adult red-tailed hawk soaring north between 1 and 2 pm on May 14.

Trainees, staff, and volunteers counted 254 hours over 42 days. The high day was April 19 with 117 birds including 3 ospreys, 5 bald eagles, 1 northern harrier, 4 sharp-shinned hawks, a season high 101 broad-winged hawks, 1 red-tailed hawk, and 1 American kestrel. The bald eagle count of 87 was 74% above the 10-year average and a new record high! Counts of black vultures, sharp-shinned hawks, and merlins were 54%, 16%, and 64% above average, respectively. Counts of turkey vultures and red-tailed hawks were 17% and 19% below average, respectively. All other species had average counts this year.

Spring 2024 Raptor Migration Count

Final Spring Migration Count 2024