Peak flights of Sharpies, Kestrels and Harriers.

Over the last week or so, several species of our more common raptors have been migrating in considerable numbers. Sharp-shinned Hawks have been the most dominant of those species, topping out at 470 on September 26th. In the same general time span, we have recorded days of 49, 41 and 39 (twice) American Kestrels. Just yesterday, 22 Northern Harriers came by the watch, the most in one day so far this fall.

As mentioned in another recent blog, we have been seeing kestrels take snakes as prey. This has happened three times within sight of the watch this fall. According to what I have read, small reptiles, including snakes and lizards, are not an uncommon prey item for this species. Continuing in the taking of prey vein, yesterday we witnessed a Peregrine Falcon capturing a Blue Jay in mid air, only to be harassed and robbed of its prey by another Peregrine!

Here are the overall numbers for all species for the season. I might also mention that we have tallied over 9 thousand Monarch butterflies as well!
Black Vulture 1
Turkey Vulture 1652
Osprey 45
Swallow-tailed Kite 1
Bald Eagle 821
Northern Harrier 101
Sharp-shinned Hawk 2471
Cooper’s Hawk 6
Red-shouldered Hawk 5
Broad-winged Hawk 957
Red-tailed Hawk 50
American Kestrel 364
Merlin 65
Peregrine Falcon 25

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