Monday, November 30, 2009

HawkCount...So Much More than Just Daily Totals

Chances are, if you are a hawkwatcher and spend time visiting watchsites during the spring and fall months, you are familiar with HMANA’s hawkwatching database, HawkCount (

Since I began hawkwatching in 1999, I have treasured HawkCount as a means of staying up-to-date on what’s happening in Maine, Texas, Illinois, name it. I begin by easily locating watchsites by state or by province from the drop down menu or by using the interactive map. Next, I simply click on an active watchsite and find hourly, daily, or seasonal totals by month or by year – and you’re there! Scroll down to read the summary reports and highlights, a world of raptor observations at your fingertips.
For years, this is solely what I used HawkCount for. But the fun doesn’t stop there...

Click on SITE PROFILE for each site and there you will find general site descriptions, topography notes, history of the site and directions. I find this section helpful when I’m planning a trip to a new site or curious about the length of the count season or just learning about the site’s history, like when it was established. Also included in the Site Profile section are photos of sites, maps, contact information and website links.
Interested in reading about specific protocol or articles highlighting a certain watchsite? Check out the Procedures/Protocols section.

Many of you may be very familiar with HawkCount and all its functions. However, I’ve realized through talking to hawkwatchers how many of them are not.

Aside from these site details, this page also displays big days and season records - my favorite feature. Just check the “Migratory Raptors Observed” table and you’ll see maximum daily and season counts and timing calendars that let you know the migration window for each species at each site. For me, it’s really helpful to get season highlights from certain hawk watches without having to dig through months of data. It’s a very useful tool for Site Coordinators who may be conducting simple analyses, writing final reports or just having fun playing with data.

As HMANA’s Monitoring Site Coordinator, part of my job is to keep HawkCount updated with new information. This means reaching out to Site Coordinators and working with them to fill in the gaps and encouraging people to follow HMANA’s guidelines and to enter data regularly so it can be viewed and enjoyed by everyone. We hope to have the majority of site profiles updated by the end of the year but we would love your help. If you’re a Site Coordinator and looking to update your info in any way, please contact me at

No comments:

Post a Comment