(Updated 10/24/2017 .  Refresh page for most recent.)


 **  The Fall 2013 Daily Count  **      ** Hawk Watchers, Get Counted! **
***   We Have Counted More Than 500,000 Hawks Since 1971!   ***
Thanks to our wonderful counters! 

On Sep 18 2013 the 500,000th hawk was counted at the Hook Mountain Hawk Watch.  We have continued with the tradition of the hawk watchers before us, counting those majestic raptors as they migrate past Hook. 

Stiles Thomas lead the way in 1971, joining along with several other hawk watchers in the northeast who were exploring hawk migration.  The outcome of those early efforts include the formation of the NorthEast Hawk Watch, and many years of hawk count data from Hook Mountain and other hawk watches throughout the northeast.  The intent was to learn the basics of raptor migration - where, when do the hawks migrate?  Which species at what season?  Data from Hook has contributed to that understanding. 

We depend on our counters, who continue in the tradition of those early days, to collect the data in the continuing study of the migratory patterns of raptors, with the hope that we can better understand population trends, and contribute to raptor conservation. 

Of course, when each of us sees a Bald Eagle fly overhead, or marvels at the flash of color from an American Kestrel, or feels the wind whoosh as a Merlin zooms through, we are impressed by the sheer joy of raptor migration.   Isn't it grand that such joy, when counted, also contributes to the conservation of the raptors we love?

Thank you everyone.  Your contribution matters!

  Radar for Sep 16, 2013, showing migration.

Countdown to 500,000
***   We Made It!!   ***


The 2013 hawk season continues to be good.                                                                              
September 7, 2013

We are up to 214 hawks total so far, with 78 Osprey and 24 Bald Eagles.  It is still too early to say it is a good year for these species,but these numbers are well above the 9 year average of 36 OS and 7 BE by Sep 7.   I have added the cumulative averages to the 2013 Dailies, so you can compare this year's numbers to previous years.

Broad-winged Hawk migration coming

The Broad-wings have begun to trickle through in small numbers, totaling 37 at this point.  I updated the seasonal graph for Broad-wings.  Our low numbers in 2012 brought the averages for the peak day (Sep 17) down below 2,000, but the pattern has stayed the same.  Dates with average numbers of Broad-wings above 200 range from Sep 15 to Sep 21.   This is a very narrow window of just one week.  Of course, this is based on an average, so there are days before and after that window that could have hundreds of BWs also. 

Immature Broad-wing Hawk at Hook

When will the 500,000th Hawk be Counted?

At this point (Sep 7) we have counted a total of 495,256 hawks.  So, we are now a little closer to the magic 500,000, with 4,744 more to go.   With BW season approaching, we just might make that 500,000 in less than 2 weeks.  So, be sure to check the 2013 Dailies regularly in the next couple of weeks.   

September 1, 2013

Osprey begin migration in August
Osprey begin migrating in August

Join us!  Help us get to 500,000! 

A good start to 2013!
It's September and we begin the 2013 Hook season with 65 hawks (as of Sep 1), including 50 Osprey.   Thanks to those who counted in August for a very good beginning!

2012 - some good numbers
Last year's totals brought a record number of Black Vultures (64),  and our 1st ever Mississippi Kite.  The MIKI was on Aug 30, 2012, so keep your eyes open - they are early migrants.  We also counted 410 Osprey in 2012.  The only year with more was 1989 with 435 OS.  Almost as good as the OS were the 177 Red-shouldered Hawks.  We have only had 3 years with more, with a max of 194 in 1999.

There were 323 Kestrels last year, our first count above 300 in 5 years.  Our Kestrel numbers bottomed out in 2008 and 2009 with just slightly more than 150.  Let's hope that last year's rebound represents the beginning of a real recovery.

A Target for this Year!
The total number of all hawks counted at Hook since 1971 was 495,042 before this season began.  Add the 65 counted so far, and we only need 4,893 more to reach a grand total of 500,000 hawks counted at Hook!

       Will you be there to see the 500,000th hawk counted at Hook?

       Which species do you think it will be?  See you on the Hook!

    Check the dailies to see our progress.

*** Red-tailed Hawk Attacks Bald Eagle over Hook! ***

Paddy French
at Hook Mountain,  30+ years

  We have counted more than 18,000 Hawks for the Season!    See this season's count   







American Kestrel:  Cause for Concern Broad-winged Hawk Northern Harrier
Merlin:  Good News Red-tailed Hawk ct: Falcons at FIRE
Peregrine:  More Now Red-shouldered Hawk Since 1971

Up Close and Personal

How Close?

Action Videos at Hook!


  Hook on the Radio (start 9:45)


Celebrate Our Counters

Hawk watching is great fun everywhere you watch.  At Hook, we watch hawks with a view of the Tappan Zee Bridge and the Empire State Building to our south, the Bear Mountain Tower to the north, and the mighty Hudson River below us.  We are fortunate to have volunteers who are devoted to the hawks.  They spot the hawks, identify them, count them, and keep careful records.  While having fun watching these magnificent raptors in action, they contribute to the better understanding of raptor population trends.  We celebrate our counters, with special thanks for every data sheet they submit.  And we thank all the hawk watchers who help us spot the hawks and accomplish our part of the raptor conservation mission.  If you have helped us count, thank you!   If you have never been up to Hook, come join us!  We can use your eyes! 

click for action video
Slow motion Red-tailed Hawk on swoop to owl.  (Click for normal speed.)

Join the fun!  Directions.

Photos by Steve Sachs - great stuff!
Cooper's Hawk Video

Fall 2010 CountRecord BV, BE, and CH!
Fall 2009 Count:  Record BE, 125! RL!
Fall 2008 Count:  SK!! Record BE, 82!
Fall 2007 Count:  Record BV, 46!
Fall 2006 Count:  Record GE, 20!
Fall 2005 Count Record CH, 278!
Fall 2004 Count:
  Record CH, 185

We are an all volunteer group of hawk watchers, and we need your help!  Please contact Trudy if you can take the count for a day.  If you would like to learn, we will pair you up with one of our watchers.

Sited just above the Hudson River, we see Eagles and Peregrines regularly.     The problem is deciding which are actually migrating, and therefore countable.   We often see them flying up and down the Hudson, more than we actually count.

 You can enjoy these beautiful hawks, and our spectacular view!  If you
can help to count, even
for a day,
we need you! 
Contact Trudy.

Golden Eagle, 10/19/06:  video (6000KB)

Updated:  10/24/2017  

Records (coming soon) Hawk Watchers Report forms:  excelpdf
Important Bird Area Directions Hook Mountain State Park

  Find the Action here!

Hawk Data for Hook Mountain

Hawks at Hook:  Yearly, since 1971
Bald Eagle:   seasonal data
Sharp-shinned:  seasonal data
Am. Kestrel:  seasonal data

If you are a hawkwatcher and willing to keep the count, we need you!  Contact Trudy Battaly, merlin@pipeline.com, if you can help.  (Unless otherwise noted, photos by Trudy Battaly.)

Bat's Bytes Hook FIRE NEHW HMANA

Updated:  10/24/2017