Winter Raptor Survey Results for PA – 2012

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.

Northern Harrier - adult male (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

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.

American Kestrel - female (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

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.

Rough-legged Hawk - adult female light type (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

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.

WRS 2012 - Species per hour (Figure by Greg Grove)

Other species:

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)

Peregrine Falcon - juvenile in the snow (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)