Vulturific Hawkwatch! 10/15/23

After an early morning of unremarkable birding at Winding Waters Trail, I headed up to Mount Peter to see if any raptors were flying. I was not prepared for what the mountain had in store for us today. When I arrived, Ken Witkowski informed that Turkey Vultures were moving in numbers. He wasn’t kidding; he had over 130 the hour before, and we topped that the next hour with 199! They were actually kettling up! Tom Millard joined us shortly after I arrived, and the three of us enjoyed some of the best hawk watching I can recall in recent years.

~Turkey Vultures directly over the viewing platform at Mount Peter, 10/15/23.~

I couldn’t help but think of the epic day we had at Mt. Pete in October of 2021, when we counted over 850 migrating Turkey Vultures in an afternoon. Today didn’t quite reach those heights, but a total of 636 migrating TUVUs were counted today. Plus, we also had loads of other migrating raptors; they came through in decent numbers and with an excellent variety (11 different migrating species counted). See Ken and Tom’s full report below for more details. What a great day – it was a cool fall day, with a beautiful sky, excellent company, and absolutely loads of migrating raptors.

~These three Bald Eagles put on quite a show, before migrating through. Mount Peter Hawkwatch, 10/15/23.~
~Red-shouldered Hawk passes over Mount Peter, 10/15/23.~
~Turkey Vulture close up taken in my backyard last week.~

8 thoughts on “Vulturific Hawkwatch! 10/15/23”

  1. Turkey Vultures are so cool. It’s my understanding their numbers increased greatly in the northeast over the years. I haven’t been birding enough to know. They are such an underrated bird.

    1. I totally agree, John. I’ve always enjoyed both vulture species we see in the area, especially since we’ve had a roost in our yard/neighborhood for years. Matt

  2. You got nice pictures of airplanes, except the last one! That must have been quite a sight!

    1. It really was, Norma. It was really good to have such a busy and productive day at the watch. Always good to hear from you Norma. Matt

  3. Now you have me wondering. I was in Mt Bethel PA for the weekend and I had over 50 plus Turkey Vultures flying through this morning. Unfortunately don’t know what direction they headed.

    1. It was that sort of day, Karen. I’ll bet they were moving through. Thanks for checking in. Matt

    1. It was awesome, it felt great to really enjoy hawk watching again – it had been a while since I had a day like that. Matt xo

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