Thursday, September 9, 2010

2010 Fall Raptor Migration - First Week of September

The first week of September is already over. September 1 brought a large group of hawkwatches opening their vistas for fall hawkwatching. So now that the first week is over, how is migration faring?

Not bad is my answer for today. Only a handful of hawkwatches have reported triple digit results so far and none north of Mexico have yet posted four-digit results. Duluth’s Hawk Ridge has come the closest to that mark with an even 800 yesterday (September 8). Sharp-shinned hawk totals there were nearly double the number of Broad-winged hawk, with 456 sharpies to 242 broadwings.

Radar showed what looks like a good overnight flight of songbirds on September 8-9, so that brings me some hope for an uptick in raptor numbers over the next day or so. HawkCount results from the past week look as though nearly all the hawkwatches are getting a piece of whatever is flying. Bald eagle numbers are good, and the coastal sites are seeing some nice numbers of osprey. To my eye, broad-winged hawk numbers seem low, though perhaps the birds are simply waiting for that perfect weather to take to the air. Sharp-shinned hawk numbers are stronger than I might have expected, and kestrels seem better than they have been lately, though of course that isn’t saying much. Northern Harrier counts are also rather low so far.

Next week should tell the tale. Stay tuned for that!

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