An Epic Day!

An Epic Day. May 1 at the hawk watch set a new one day record for raptors tallied with 21188.  It was a perfect storm of improved weather and stacked up raptors to the south that produced massive numbers of migrating raptors with kettles of 500-1000 overhead throughout the day. Broad-wings ruled the day with 20763 counted, including a very rare dark morph individual. Kevin referred to this bird as a “chocolate drop,” a term from his Texas hawk counting days. It is an amazing journey for these Broad-wings as they winter in South America all the way down to the pampas of Argentina, a migration that takes over a month before reaching the Mackinac  Straits.  Other highlights on the day were 4 Golden Eagles, one circling directly overhead, flashing those showy white wing patches of an immature bird; two dark morph Red-tails, and a good diversity of 12 raptor species. (see Hawkcount.org for details). There were two Peregrine Falcons seen along the shore in Mackinaw City, but not seen at the watch site. Keep looking up! 

Steve Baker

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