Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Fall Birds and More

Silhouettes are often all that's
needed to ID a hawk.
Summer is slowly coming to a close; although, this weeks weather may well be some of the worst.  It's hard to think about fall when temperatures are supposed to be in the mid-80's all week.  But with a small storm predicted to come this weekend, what could follow is hawks, LOTS of hawks.

Hawk migration peaks in the months of September and October, most species picking a few weeks to move south.  Here in the Northeast, we are treated to something the West Coast never sees, the mass migration of Broad-winged Hawks. 

Red-tailed Hawk

You  can read past posts to see how our annual hawkwatches on campus have gone, the highlight being almost 2000 hawks flying by in one day.  No that isn't a typo, that day at other Connecticut sights the count was over 8000 birds.  This year our annual hawkwatch will be held in conjunction with one of the Peabody West Campus Community Education Center's nature walks.  On Friday, September 12th, educator Tom Parlapiano will lead a lunchtime hawkwatch program at the site of our annual hawkwatch.  Check out the West Campus weekly newsletter for more information.  Please Note: This progam is only open to Yale West Campus residents.


If weather conditions are just right we may well have another spectacular flight like we did in 2011.  Either way, there should be a nice diversity of raptor species going by to learn some basic identification skills and see some unique interactions that only occur at this time of year. 

Species of raptor seen at past watches
Bald Eagle
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Red-shouldered Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Northern Harrier