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Friday, March 31, 2023

It is Prime Time For Hawk MIgration!!

Broad-winged Hawk, grownup. Has thick, black-and-white tail bands.

The hawks are coming! The hawks are coming! We’re getting into prime hawk migration time for birders within the northern and jap half of the U.S. Some hawks, resembling Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s Hawks, Merlins, and American Kestrels, will transfer by flapping, however Broad-winged Hawks, an plentiful migrant, journey through the use of rising thermals. Climate situations of clear and sunny, with gentle north or northwest winds, ought to produce superb situations for Broad-winged Hawk migration. The Hawk Migration Affiliation of North America runs a big web site the place all of the dates and numbers of migrating hawks are recorded. Go there to maintain observe of migration or to discover a hawkwatch web site in your space. A lot of the Northeast hawkwatch websites will see many Broad-winged Hawks this fall in addition to many different raptors.

Listed here are some ideas for watching hawks:

1. Prime Broad-winged Hawk migration within the North is Sept. 11 to 25, within the South (TX) it’s Sept. twenty fifth to Oct. 10.

2. Prime Sharp-shinned Hawk migration within the Northeast is Sept. 1 to Oct. 10, within the Mid-Atlantic States it’s Sept. 10 to Oct. 20, within the West it’s Sept. 11 to Oct. 31.

3. Hawks normally transfer most below sunny skies with gentle northwest, north, or northeast winds. Broad-winged Hawks require thermals to maneuver.

4. Go hawk-watching at one of many many “official” hawk-watch websites right here. Or discover your individual by going to a hill, mountain, or tall construction obtainable to you that has good views to the north, as a result of that’s the path the hawks are coming from.

5. Convey binoculars which are at 8 energy, and even 10 energy when you have them. Scan slowly backwards and forwards throughout the sky at totally different heights to seek out the hawks. Most hawks shall be pretty distant and a few could appear to be specs. Study hawk shapes at a distance to determine them. Many hawkwatchers additionally use recognizing scopes to find hawks.

6. Here is a short have a look at the commonest hawks you will note:

Broad-winged Hawk, grownup

Broad-winged Hawk, juvenile

* Broad-winged Hawks. These are medium-sized hawks, 16″ lengthy, with broad wings, and soar collectively in teams. Search for the broad black-and-white tail bands seen on the adults, normally seen even at a distance. Juvenile Broad-winged Hawks have skinny tail bands and darkish streaking that’s normally heaviest on the edges of the breast.

Crimson-tailed Hawk, juvenile

*Crimson-tailed Hawks migrate a bit later than Broad-winged Hawks and right here in NH, we are able to see them all over Oct. and even later. Individuals could confuse juvenile Broad-winged and Crimson-tailed Hawks. Observe on this hen, the darkish mark, known as the patagial bar on the forefront of the wings, a fantastic clue, additionally the darkish stomach streaks kind a “stomach band” one other nice clue.

* Sharp-shinned Hawks. These are small, about Blue Jay-sized, 12″ lengthy, hawks within the accipiter group. They migrate largely singly with flap-flap-flap glide flight and have quick rounded wings and a considerably lengthy tail that has a squared finish.

* Cooper’s Hawks. These are extraordinarily much like Sharp-shinned Hawks, and are a tough ID problem, however are considerably bigger, 17″ lengthy, with an extended, rounded tail and bigger, longer head and related flight sample.

* American Kestrels. These are a kind of falcon. They’re smaller than a Sharp-shinned Hawk, about 10 1/2″ lengthy, with pointed wings and an extended tail and fly primarily with steady flapping.

* Merlins. Similar to a Kestrel however darker and bigger, about 12″ lengthy. Has broad, pointed wings and a considerably shorter tail than a Kestrel. Flies swiftly and strongly. See yesterday’s weblog entry for particulars on Merlin vs. Kestrel ID.

* Turkey Vultures. Very massive, about 27″ lengthy, all black birds that continuously soar with their wings held in a V.

7. Hold observe of your numbers and switch them in to your native hen or hawk-watching group.

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