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, reminiscent of Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s Hawks, Merlins, and American Kestrels, will transfer by flapping, however Broad-winged Hawks, an ample migrant, journey by utilizing rising thermals. Climate circumstances of clear and sunny, with gentle north or northwest winds, ought to produce supreme circumstances for Broad-winged Hawk migration. The Hawk Migration Association 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 monitor 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 suggestions 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 often transfer most underneath 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 here. Or discover your personal by going to a hill, mountain, or tall construction accessible 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 that are at 8 power, and even 10 energy if in case you have them. Scan slowly forwards and backwards throughout the sky at completely different heights to search out the hawks. Most hawks can be pretty far-off and a few could seem like specs. Be taught hawk shapes at a distance to establish them. Many hawkwatchers additionally use recognizing scopes to find hawks.

6. This is a short take a look at the most typical 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, often seen even at a distance. Juvenile Broad-winged Hawks have skinny tail bands and darkish streaking that’s often heaviest on the edges of the breast.

Purple-tailed Hawk, juvenile

*Purple-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. Folks could confuse juvenile Broad-winged and Purple-tailed Hawks. Observe on this chicken, the darkish mark, referred to as the patagial bar on the forefront of the wings, an incredible clue, additionally the darkish stomach streaks type 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 principally singly with flap-flap-flap glide flight and have brief 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 difficult ID problem, however are considerably bigger, 17″ lengthy, with an extended, rounded tail and bigger, longer head and comparable 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 giant, about 27″ lengthy, all black birds that always soar with their wings held in a V.

7. Maintain monitor of your numbers and switch them in to your native chicken or hawk-watching group.

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