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by Seth Benz

Hawk Watch started in late August, and sharp-shinned hawks are on the move! We added 411 to the count total last week, with 105 individuals documented as the high single-day count.

We counted 34 American kestrels on September 9, the single-day high mark for this species so far. Otherwise, weather has been usually steady, with a mix of morning fog yielding to afternoon views of numerous migrating hawks. To date we have counted 840 migrants, with the majority passing through since September 6.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds and yellow-rumped warblers were the most numerous non-raptor migrants over the past two weeks, and red-breasted nuthatches are being seen most every day – as this year is an irruptive year for the species. Their preferred food – conifer seeds – is in very limited supply to the north, so the species is moving south in search of greater food resources.

Join us on Cadillac Mountain every good weather day, between approximately 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., a short walk down the North Ridge Trail from the parking area. (Remember that reservations are required to park at the summit through October.) See you at the Hawk Watch!

the underside of a hawk flying through blue sky
A sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter striatus) is easily recognized by its shape: short, rounded wings and a relatively long, squared-off tail, built to maneuver in pursuit of small, forest-dwelling birds.