2010 Count


Season Update, Oct 30 2010

We have counted more than 6600 hawks so far this season!  And we have had some great specialties!  Highlights:

1.  A Short-eared Owl flew by the watch, first checking out the owl and then tussling with a Red-tail.  What a neat sighting!    (Video of SE on winter territory.)

2.  Two Rough-legged Hawks this season!  A dark morph on Sunday Oct 17, and a light morph Wednesday Oct 20.  What a treat.  Last year we had our first since 1991 on Nov 2, so there may be more to come.

3.  Our first of the year Golden Eagle flew by on Saturday Oct 23. 

4.  Two Northern Goshawks crossed over the summit on Sunday Oct 24 and Monday Oct 25. 

5.  We have counted 241 Kestrels this season.  This suggests that American Kestrels are on the road to recovery from their very low numbers in the last couple of years.

Analysis to come...... Check the 2010 Season and watch for an overview of this year's status for several species that seem to be doing better than average!

Season Update, Sep 30 2010

We have counted more than 4600 hawks so far this season!  What a great job by our counters!  We have counted more hawks for most species than our 6 year average from 2004 to 2009.

The best news is the number of American Kestrels.  We have counted more in one month this year than our year totals for 2009 (154) and 2008 (152), our lowest two years. 

American Kestrels have come back from rock bottom (152).  We are at the 6-yr average.  Target: 230.

Our Kestrel count of 163 is right at the 6 year average.  With another 2 to 3 weeks of the Kestrel season to go, representing <30% of the year totals, we will watch carefully to see if we actually reach the average number of Kestrels as a total.  Getting back to average is a very good thing for a species that had almost bottomed out!

Osprey Above Average.  Our other success story this season is our Osprey count.  At 247, we have counted 26% more OS than average.  In fact, in the last 6 years our average yearly count for OS is 252.  So, we are already close to the year average for Osprey with about 2 more weeks left in their season.

Other species that are above average include Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Cooper's Hawk, and Merlin.  Of these the most meaningful difference is for Bald Eagle. 
Bald Eagle count is 51% above average, and we are only half way through the BE season.  Last year we blew away the old BE record of 82 with a whopping 125.  There is a chance that we could get another new record for BE this year. 
Cooper's Hawk numbers are 34% above average and we still have 2/3 of their season ahead.

Species that are below average for this season are Broad-winged Hawk and Sharp-shinned Hawks.
At 3028,
Broad-winged Hawks are 65% of our total, but about 680 less than our 6 year average.  This is not surprising since BW counts vary substantially from year to year.  Other Hawk Watches did get Broad-wings this season, so their numbers do not seem to have declined.  Just where the BWs pass in any season is most likely dependent on the winds and weather.  This emphasizes the importance of contributions from many hawk watches across a region.
Sharp-shinned Hawk numbers are slightly below average (10%).  However, only about half their season has past, so we can still pick up more in the month ahead.

Sep 21, 2010
The Broad-winged Hawks are coming through, with 1507 counted on Sep 21, 2010.  The biggest news, though, are the numbers of
American Kestrels We are up to 146 Kestrels.  That is only 8 Kestrels away from last years total for the whole year! 

Sep 19, 2010
We are up to 2382 hawks for this season, including 44 Bald Eagles and 1324 Broad-winged Hawks.  The Broad-wings have started, and the passage of this front (Sunday night and Monday) could bring big numbers.  This is the peak time for BWs at Hook. 
A happy surprise on Saturday - we had the
highest number of Sharp-shinned Hawks at Hook in the last 7 years.  There were 207 Sharpies!  The winds were from the NW early in the day, but light, and then turned to South by mid day.  Yet, the Sharpies just kept barreling through.  What a neat day!



  Thank You Counters

Special thanks to those who submitted the data sheets.  You make Hook Mountain a hawk watch!  Thanks also to all those who helped find the hawks and count them.  We need your eyes! 

We watch hawks for the thrill of seeing these magnificent raptors.  We count hawks to accomplish raptor conservation.  Thank you!

Trudy Battaly, compiler

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