Spring Raptor Migration in Orange County

~Kent did not have any photos with this post, so I figured I would tack on one of my own recent shots – Bald Eagle flyover at Glenmere Lake last weekend, 04/07/18.~

I recently invited several of the more prolific birders in our area to contribute to the blog whenever they have something that they feel is worth sharing. I think there is a lot of good birding going on that folks would like to hear about, and the end result should be a little more complete coverage of the birds and birding in our area. Kent Warner is the first to take me up on the offer. The timing is perfect too, since I was out of town all weekend and didn’t get any birding done.  I found this post very interesting because, generally speaking, not much attention is paid to raptor migration here in Orange County.

SPRING RAPTOR MIGRATION IN ORANGE COUNTY

BY KENT WARNER

Today was a stunner at Bellvale Community for raptors especially. As the sun warmed, and the updrafts started, the first couple of broad-winged hawks, passed low overhead. As the day continued, despite a stiff north breeze, the raptors kept coming – predominantly  Broad-winged Hawks and Turkey Vultures, but a little of everything showed. Here is a list of what I saw…

Broad-winged Hawk – 450 (very conservative estimate of just the ones I saw, there were definitely more)

Turkey Vulture – 45

Black Vulture – 6

Osprey – 16

Northern Harrier – 3

Sharp-shinned Hawk – 3

Cooper’s Hawk – 5

Bald Eagle – 5

Red-Shouldered Hawk – 1

Red-tailed Hawk – 6

American Kestrel – 6

Merlin – 1

Peregrine Falcon – 1

2 thoughts on “Spring Raptor Migration in Orange County”

  1. Sounds like it must have been an amazing day, Kent! I was really unaware that there were spring Raptor flights as well as those in the Fall. I shall have to do a better job of keeping my eyes on the ridges.

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