Posted by: DarkEyedJunc0 | November 6, 2013

Hotspot Profile: Hawk Mountain

Since I became a birder, one place on my birding “bucket list” was Hawk Mountain. Raptor watching is my favorite season of the year, and I always love seeing new places. Besides, I have always heard how Hawk Mountain is a “don’t miss” place!

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When our friend, Eleanor mentioned that she hadn’t seen a “definite” Golden Eagle, we decided it’s time to plan a trip to one of the best spots for the species, which happens to be Hawk Mountain!

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While the day started slowly, it picked up in the afternoon, after some quick drizzle. But once it picked up, we were not disappointed. The stars of the day were the many Sharp-shinned Hawks we had, and three flyover Golden Eagles (including one immature which was text book perfect, and flew directly overhead!)

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The following day, 16 Golden Eagles were reported for the day.

WHY HAWK MOUNTAIN?

“Hawk Mountain straddles the Kittatinny Ridge or Blue Mountain, a 300-mile-long, prominent ridge that extends from 60 miles north of New York City to 20 miles west of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The Kittatinny is the southeasternmost ridge in the Appalachian Ridge-and-Valley Province of eastern Pennsylvania. Birds drifting south from Canada, New England and New York, slope soar the length of the ridge, saving energy on their journey south.”  (from the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Flight Guide, Third Edition)

IF YOU GO:

Be sure to check the reports at

http://www.hawkmountain.org/science/hawk-mountain-raptorcount/hawk-count~default.aspx?id=518

The website above points out the following:

  • Autumn hawk flights are best on days with northwest wind following a cold front.
  • The Daily Count is posted after 6 pm.
  • You can hear tomorrow’s weather forecast and flight prediction by calling 610-756-6000 x6 after 6 pm.

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Our report follows:

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Berks, US-PA
Nov 2, 2013 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Protocol: Stationary
18 species (+2 other taxa)

loon sp.  1     flew over the hawkwatch
Turkey Vulture  9
Golden Eagle  3     imm. / sub adults
Northern Harrier  1
Sharp-shinned Hawk  19
Bald Eagle  2
Red-shouldered Hawk  3
Red-tailed Hawk  13
Downy Woodpecker  X
Hairy Woodpecker  X
Pileated Woodpecker  1
Blue Jay  X
Common Raven  4
Carolina/Black-capped Chickadee  X
Tufted Titmouse  X
Carolina Wren  X
Dark-eyed Junco  X
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Common Grackle  X
American Goldfinch  X

Pictured below are the day’s totals until 3pm that day, and the month and year to date total board:
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Responses

  1. I have been coming since the late 80’s. Certainly it’s in the top 10 must visit sights in the North East to observe from. Many fond memories !! So glad you were able to experience this wonderful sight at last. Even if it wasn’t during mad numbers the views will stay with you forever!!


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