Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Record Setting Year

As an intern at Hawk Mountain this past fall I was privileged to be there for an excellent season. Records set included:
-the 4th highest
one-day Broad-winged Hawk count (7,508)
-a tie for the one-day Northern Harrier record (36)
season record for Golden Eagles (164)
-season record for Merlins (204)
tied for season record for Peregrine Falcons (62)
-Mississippi Kite (1, 5th record)
Also, Turkey and Black vultures, Sharp-shinned Hawks, Cooper’s Hawks, and Red-tailed Hawks, Bald Eagles, Osprey and Northern Harriers all had above average counts making this a great season not just for the 11,801 Broad-winged Hawks we counted, but 11 other raptor species as well.

On December 6th at 11:40am Hawk Mountain reached another milestone with a Red-tailed Hawk being the 25,000th raptor of the season. There have only been six other seasons since 1934 that have counted over 25,000 raptors from North Lookout and the last time Hawk Mountain reached that number was 1986, 3 years after I was born. I was lucky enough to be on North Lookout for that special Red-tail.

Things have changed since the last time Hawk Mountain reached 25,000. This time around it is not just one species that made the record but 12 species that are higher than their 10-year average. This means that species diversity is higher with the rarer species doing better now than 20 years ago.

Here are the final counts from Aug. 15-Dec.15 2006.
Black Vulture: 85
Turkey Vulture: 450
Northern Goshawk: 15
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 5,480
Cooper’s Hawk: 930
Unidentified Accipiter: 59
Red-tailed Hawk: 3,904
Red-shouldered Hawk: 257
Broad-winged Hawk: 11,801
Rough-legged Hawk: 1
Unidentified Buteo: 55
Golden Eagle: 164
Bald Eagle: 203
Unidentified Eagle: 2
Northern Harrier: 274
Osprey: 674
Peregrine Falcon: 62
Merlin: 204
American Kestrel: 412
Unidentified Falcon: 13
Mississippi Kite: 1
Unidentified Hawk: 48
TOTAL: 25,115