Monday, August 20, 2012

First hawkwatches open!

It’s fall! Or at least the first of the fall hawkwatches are open for business. Waggoner’s Gap near Carlisle PA, was the first to open, starting their season on August 1. Nearby Second Mountain wasn’t far behind, first counting on August 3. More hawkwatches, including Hawk Mountain PA, Corpus Christi TX and Hawk Ridge MN, opened on August 15. At last count so far 14 North American hawkwatches have put in at least one count day at their sites.

And the results? It’s mostly been slow, of course, though numbers are ever-building. Hawk Ridge’s 167 raptors on August 18 can boast the largest daily total. Corpus Christi tallied 160 on the same day. No other sites have yet reported triple digit counts, but most have now posted double-digit days. The other high counts were Waggoner’s Gap with 87 on August 18; Hawk Mountain with 74 on August 16; and Bake Oven Knob, PA, and Rockfish Gap, VA, with high totals of 62 and 61.

Corpus Christi’s total was boosted by 130 Mississippi Kites on August 18, the first day with more than 4 of those. Hawk Ridge’s total includes 139 Broad-winged Hawks seen on August 18. They also had 10 Bald Eagles that day.

It’s the third week of August, and hawkwatches from Maine to south Texas are now open. Whatever the weather, that can only mean one thing—it’s fall!

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