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by Seth Benz

2020 marked the twenty-sixth year of the Hawk Watch atop Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, and the seventh year of our collaboration with the National Park Service to monitor fall bird migration. We documented a total of 2,973 hawks during 257 hours of observation over 54 days, a yield of 11.5 hawks per hour. Daily counts, reported in hourly increments, were submitted to an online database administered by the Hawk Migration Association of North America (HMANA).

The total of 2,973 hawks ranks as the tenth- highest count in the location’s 26 years of effort. The consistency of the Hawk Watch is due to a dedicated group of volunteers. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, including mask wearing and social distancing, our intrepid crew was a little less robust than previous years. Crew lead Angi King-Johnston counted five days of every week. She was flanked by six spotters: Jim and Kathy Zeman, Holly and Monty Evans, and Chris and Joe Ferrara. Acadia National Park interpreters were present on two days per week during the last week of August through September, helping to greet and orient more than 2,500 visitors.


2020 Preliminary Season Summary by Species

1,039 Broad-Winged Hawk
758 Sharp-Shinned Hawk
468 American Kestrel
159 Turkey Vulture
123 Osprey
99 Bald Eagle
85 Northern Harrier
56 Merlin
38 Red-Tailed Hawk
24 Peregrine Falcon
19 Cooper’s Hawk
10 Northern Goshawk
1 Red-Shouldered Hawk
138 Unidentified Accipiters, Buteos, Falcons, and Raptors