Mount Peter Hawkwatch, 10/07/17

~This Blue Jay was striking a funny pose when I arrived at Mt. Peter, 10/07/17.~

We all know how crazy the weather has been this fall; it’s the summer that wouldn’t end. That being said, I was not very optimistic going into Saturday’s hawkwatch, with the warm temperatures and south/southeast winds on tap. It was a slow start, and I didn’t get all that many migrating raptors (31), but I had excellent variety with a total of 8 different migrating species. It made me think about when I first started going hawk watching at Hawk Mountain many years ago. I usually chose early to mid October because it offered the best variety of birds – I had looked at previous years data on their website to figure it out. Jeff Zahn visited early and missed out on most of the birds. Kent Warner showed up a little later and things started to heat up and we got some Sharp-shinned Hawks. But, it was when Sylvia Kleff and Robert Montgomery showed up that things got good. They really brought the birds with them, and together we saw 7 of the 8 migrating species in a little over an hour’s time (Sylvia and Robert – the Bald Eagle came through only 10 minutes after you left!).  See my report at the bottom of this post. It was a pretty decent day of hawkwatching, all things considered.

~Ha ha! I’m switching up my Turkey Vulture pic a little bit. I saw this young TUVU enjoying a meal in the black dirt on Sunday afternoon.~
~An American Kestrel zooms past the viewing platform on the east side. Mt. Peter Hawkwatch, 10/07/17.~
~My first Ring-necked Pheasant in Orange County for the year. The question is, is this bird countable. I saw it at Skinner’s Lane, an area where as far I know, it is common knowledge that the birds are released for hunting purposes. In the past I’ve counted these birds, this year I am questioning it – any thoughts? ~


5 thoughts on “Mount Peter Hawkwatch, 10/07/17”

  1. Matt,
    The general practice with birds like Ring-necked Pheasant is that they are countable. While most birds were in deed released for hunting, there has never been a way to tell releases from established birds. Add to that the fact that many birds over-winter and breed, it muddies the waters. Count it, enjoy the bird and have no worries. John

    1. I almost called you about this today John – I’m glad you commented, I appreciate your perspective and I will be counting it. Thanks. Matt

  2. While it IS true that they are stocked there for the hunting season, we don’t know if some survive and reproduce. I’d say it is a coin-flip, your coin!

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