April continues to be a real mix bag of weather events with as many poor migration days lately as good. Even as I write this, the temperature hovers at the freezing point with heavy overcast after being in the sixties and sunny a couple days ago. Makes you wonder how the hawks manage to migrate north at all.
With that said, we are seeing a good bit of variety at the watch on suitable days. Thirteen species were represented in the numbers yesterday which I believe is a season high. Sharp-shins continue to be recorded in decent numbers most days along with Turkey Vultures. Broad-winged Hawks are starting to take over from Red-tails as the dominant Buteo in the sky these days. Some time near the end of the month into early May, we should have the first large push of Broad-wings. Weather permitting of course! Those large kettles are something everyone seems to look forward to and enjoy.
Yesterday, among all the regular migrants, we had our first rarity of the season; a Black Vulture. The watch records this species about every other year with sometimes multiple sightings. Their range as a whole seems to be expanding all along its northern perimeter. Photo by Steve Baker.