Tuesday, September 14, 2010

An Exciting Day for Florida Hawkwatchers

HMANA is happy to announce that the Curry Hammock Hawk Watch kicks off on September 15, 2010! This invaluable raptor monitoring site, located in the Florida Keys, has been a terrific presence and a very important site for the Southeast Region for the past 10 years.
The watchsite was established inside Curry Hammock State Park in Marathon because the middle Florida Keys is a major bottleneck during fall migration. Beginning in 1999, the site began monitoring 8 different species of raptors and has counted the highest number of peregrine falcons in the country.
When financial support for the project ran dry in 2008, efforts were abandoned and no count was conducted in 2009. HMANA stepped in this year, recognizing its geographic significance and importance to the Raptor Population Index Project. We decided to coordinate the count and hire an all volunteer team this year while we exploring possible plans for the future. Ideally, HMANA would like to see a local organization coordinate the count and sustain it for the long term.

Currently, there are 6 counters from all over the United States keeping the Curry Hammock count afloat this fall. The count will run from September 15-October 31 and is open to the public.
The FL Keys Birding and Wildlife Festival takes place this year Sept 22-26. http://www.keysbirdingfest.org/. If you’re in the area, stop by and visit the hawk watch! All are welcome! And if you have any interest in helping out with the count, please contact Julie Tilden at tilden@hmana.org. We can always use more help!

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