Greg Grove sent out the following message concerning the results of this past winter’s PA winter raptor surveys (WRS). Greg has allowed me to post this on his behalf –
Record coverage and mild weather led to several record high counts this year. Given that hourly rates were not notably (or at all) higher than usual (with one exception) – most of the record-setting was therefore likely due to the increased coverage.
A full report with maps, graphs etc will be in Pennsylvania Birds. Also – for those who are HMANA members – the current issue just out contains an article Nick Bolgiano and Greg Grove wrote summarizing the first 11 years of WRS.
WRS 2012 Results:
Red-tailed Hawks – Record high of 3245; hourly rate of 4.3 is just about average.
American Kestrels – Same story – record high count of 682, hourly rate was about 0.9 , about average, but up from last year’s second lowest ever.
Rough-legged Hawks – After a high count last winter, back to about average this year with a total of 79. Most were in the north or upper Susquehanna Valley.
Northern Harriers – Count was 101 – up from last year’s low count. Maybe the influence of the mild season. Turkey and Black Vultures set record highs: TV- 2804; BV – 994. In each case, the second highest houly rates ever, so mild weather may have kept more than usual here.
Bald Eagles – 190 (record high)
Sharp-shinned Hawks – 41
Cooper’s Hawks – 115 (record high)
Northern Goshawks – 0
Red-shouldered Hawks – 6 (record high)
Golden Eagles – 3
Merlins – 9 (record high)
Peregrine Falcons – 6
Northern Shrikes -10 (record high)