Huge migration of Red-tails and some other recent highlights

We were all perhaps thinking that there was a bit of a lag in the Red-tail migration this fall. Well, yesterday’s flight certainly set that in motion in a grand fashion. I suspect some recent days of northwest winds brought many of these birds to the eastern UP so even on the blustery east winds, the hawks were poised to make their way over Point LaBarbe. Many of the birds were low and close, always a bonus, especially for the handful of appreciative visitors at the watch. Supplemented by good Sharpie and TV numbers as well, I tallied 839 Red-tails and almost 1,300 raptors in all for the day. At least two, I believe, dark-morph Red-tails were present; difficult to determine because the birds were doing some back and forth movement. The photos below were provided by Oliver Kew, a young birder from Commerce, Michigan.

Also in the last week or so, we have recorded our first Golden Eagle, and our first few Goshawks and Rough-legged Hawks of the season. Many more to come I’m sure.