Jo Hays Vista – Season Total Doubled!

Anna FasoliBird Sightings, Birding, General News and Info, Migration, Photography, Research2 Comments

Yesterday, I spent most of the day hawk watching at Jo Hays Vista hawk watch. While I didn’t get nearly as many raptors as Hawk Mountain (more than 1600!), I more than doubled Jo Hays season count.  This was mainly due to small kettles of Broad-winged Hawks that consistently came through between 1:00 and 2:00.  Kettles ranged in size from around 10 to 20 Broad-wings each.  After gliding in over the “Happy Valley” of State College, kettles usually formed right over the radio towers. Here, they would rise high into the sky and glide off to the west above the ridge.  A few Sharp-shinned Hawks came into view near the kettles, and two Cooper’s Hawks were also mixed in throughout the day. Occasionally, single Broad-winged Hawks would fly through, after a number of kettles had formed and left, as if they had missed the memo that it was peak Broad-winged migration week and they were hurrying to catch up.  I also counted 8 Bald Eagles today, including 2 juveniles, a subadult, and 5 adults. One adult flew right through the “vista” overlook and over the road in full powered flight. Unfortunately there were no visitors to see it. If you really want to see a Bald Eagle here, you’ve got to put in the time. Only 2 of my eight were visible with the naked eye today.  I’ll be up at Jo Hays for the remainder of the week if anyone would like to join me and help me count Broad-wings!

Broad-winged Hawk - adult

Broad-winged Hawk - adult

Bald Eagle - adult

Bald Eagle - adult

Bald Eagle - adult

Bald Eagle - adult