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Sunday, December 04, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Violet

"A Ferrug for you and a Ferrug for you," we sang and danced after the second Ferruginous Hawk was spotted. Both hawks were juveniles, not yet grown into their rufous overtones. Other than the stars of the show, we saw a few Sharpies, Harriers, and the usual Redtails cruising through the Headlands. All birds seen today were just as sweet as the candied bacon and spiced nuts consumed by the cheerful hawkwatchers. The final day of the 2016 GGRO Hawkwatch season brought few, but beautiful, raptors to hold us over 'til next fall.

Happy hawkwatch to all, and to all a good flight!

Total Sightings: 106
Hours Counted: 5
HPH: 21.2
Total Species: 7

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 42
Northern Harrier: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 3
Red-shouldered Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 52
Ferruginous Hawk: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Buteo: 1
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, December 03, 2016  
Posted by: Violet & Isabel

It was a sunny and slow Saturday, the second-to-last day of the season. We enjoyed dolmas, lumpia, borscht, pecan cookies, chimichurri chicken skewers, and a couple of dark morph Redtails. The wind was calm, temps ranged from 60-70, and spirits were high. Only ONE more day of hawkwatching left! What will we see???

Total Sightings: 140
Hours Counted: 5.5
HPH: 25.45
Total Species: 8

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 66
Osprey: 1
Northern Harrier: 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 2
Cooper's Hawk: 1
Red-shouldered Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 59
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 2
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, December 02, 2016  
Posted by: Emily and Chase

We spent our last Friday of the season looking for raptor species, and now you can too! Below is a word search that contains the 9 species we saw today; good luck!

Friday II's Word Search Challenge:

X B T R F V U L P I U S N V P
P O R U B R I D G E C T E C O
O V Y F R X N R E D T A I L T
J C Z R E K R A V E N I V X L
S E A C L M E S U N Y L S E U
A H M P S I S Y C I P D M A C
R X A E X N I C V O O K R U K
H E O R E D S H O U L D E R H
I T D E P R E C B T L B D J B
E P O G X I A G B A I T W S A
A H A R R I E R P A P A U P L
G W G I T V N F T Q L G C R D
Y I O N G S E V L H D D R B E
H N S E R E D U W I N D O W A
R E B J A Y I L E T B E W L G
L Q A P M L Q T U I M K V E L
W H I T E T A I L E D K I T E


In other news, temperatures were in the 50s with strong winds up to 25 mph from the North.

Total Sightings: 200
Hours Counted: 5.5
HPH: 36.36
Total Species: 9

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 44
White-tailed Kite: 1
Bald Eagle: 1
Northern Harrier: 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 3
Cooper's Hawk: 4
Red-shouldered Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 133
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Buteo: 5

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, December 01, 2016  
Posted by: Robert and Emily

Weather on the hill was beautiful and sunny with temperatures in the mid fifties and a light wind. The team started the day with a decent amount of Red-tails for the first hour, along with a Red-shoulder. Then as the wind died, so did activity, and all the hawk watchers dug into the macaroni salad! Eventually the birds picked back up, and a Red-tail in the East turned into a juvenile Swainson's hawk. We were graced with a number of juvenile Harriers late in the day, and just as the team was relaxing in the last half hour, the recorder shouts "Hey what's that?" Another Red-shoulder flew right over the hill followed closely by an adult Cooper's hawk. What a great way to wrap up the season!!

Total Sightings: 190
Hours Counted: 5.5
HPH: 34.55
Total Species: 7

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 69
Northern Harrier: 7
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 5
Cooper's Hawk: 7
Red-shouldered Hawk: 2
Swainson's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 97

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1
Buteo: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016  
Posted by: Robert Violet and Chase

Rainy conditions on the final day,
Sent Hawkwatchers down from the Hill earlay,

But Wednesday 2 is a group of dear friends,
Not dismayed by moisture on the binocular lens.

Good food and long laughs brought our team together,
There was no counting today due to inclement weather.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016  
Posted by: Robert and Emily

Weather on the hill today was sunny and comfortable with variable winds out of the North. The team started the day by setting up an elaborate pot luck, complete with lattes and camp stove heated chili. For the first several hours we were graced by Red-tails and vultures with a few Coops sprinkled in. Later we got an Osprey in the north quadrant, an adult male harrier way out in the north, and a juvenile Peregrine making stoops on Hawk blind. Though they did not get the falcon, they did a release study that we identified as a juvenile harrier... cool! Late in the day a flock of 187 White Pelicans was spotted heading north with a Canada goose in formation with them; seemed like a very confused bunch!! Great last day on the hill with the ever prepared Tuesday II team!

Total Sightings: 169
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 28.17
Total Species: 8

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 71
Osprey: 1
Northern Harrier: 9
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 9
Red-tailed Hawk: 74
American Kestrel: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, November 28, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Chase

"I've got an Osprey out here!"

Suddenly 16 eyes and 8 binoculars were pointed in the North Quadrant.

"fhwWhere?" Shouted an intern, breathless for the chance to see a bird in late November, but also with a mouth full of food.

"It's under the white house moving left..."

"Wait there's an adult bald eagle out there!"

"WHERE?!" shouted the intern again, food swallowed so her shout was clear across the Hill.

Although this gluttonous intern didn't get to see the bald eagle, she and her team had a lovely day on the Hill, spotting ospreys, a few Redshoulders, a high flying White-tailed Kite, and a handsome hovering male Kestrel. The usual Redtails and Turkey Vultures could be seen of course, meandering along the hills or stilling above the area. With a steady wind from the Southwest and temperatures between 56-65, the atmosphere was pleasant.

Overall, a great final day for Monday II!


Total Sightings: 169
Hours Counted: 5.67
HPH: 29.81
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 59
Osprey: 2
White-tailed Kite: 1
Bald Eagle: 1
Northern Harrier: 6
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 4
Cooper's Hawk: 6
Red-shouldered Hawk: 4
Red-tailed Hawk: 80
American Kestrel: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Buteo: 1
Raptor: 3

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, November 27, 2016  
Posted by: Violet & Isabel

Highlights from this slow, chilly day were a Peregrine and a Merlin, both of which flew very slowly and close to the hill, giving us good looks at them. The next exciting thing was the California Scrub Jay that boldly decided to partake in our end-of-season pot luck. Other than that, we mostly counted Redtails and Turkey Vultures. We miss the accipiters!

Total Sightings: 154
Hours Counted: 5.75
HPH: 26.78
Total Species: 6

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 65
Red-shouldered Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 84
American Kestrel: 1
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, November 26, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Violet

After a whopping 1.5 hours on the Hill, we decided to call it quits. We left just as the rain blew in from the South. In our short time up there, we saw a handful of Redtails, a few Turkey Vultures, and a couple of Peregrines on the Golden Gate. Those 18 sightings were greatly appreciated by the 11 freezing Hawkwatchers who came out today.

Total Sightings: 18
Hours Counted: 1.5
HPH: 12
Total Species: 3

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 7
Red-tailed Hawk: 8
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Buteo: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, November 25, 2016  
Posted by: Violet & Emily

Today was overcast and cold! The hawk watchers donned every layer they owned, faced into the South East wind and found all the hawks they could! Most of the birds found early on in the day were perched... probably just as cold as we were. It even took the Turkey vultures an hour to get up in the sky. The sun began to show itself towards the end of the day, and it brought a Red-shouldered hawk with it. Pretty slow day on the hill, but it was a prefect way to shiver off all the Thanksgiving food still in our bellies!

Total Sightings: 65
Hours Counted: 5.75
HPH: 11.3
Total Species: 7

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 34
Northern Harrier: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 1
Red-shouldered Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 24
American Kestrel: 1

Unidentified...
Raptor: 2

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, November 24, 2016  
Posted by: Emily and Chase

What we are thankful for today:

1. Beautiful sunny days on the Hill (Temperatures today: low 60s, North/Northeast wind).

2. Turkey Vultures and Redtails for helping us learn how to pass birds to other quadrants.

3. Sharp-shinned hawks for their tiny heads and square edged tails.

4. Juvenile Northern Harriers for their festive pumpkin colored undersides and wobbly flight.

5. Red-shouldered Hawks for their flashy crescents and bright clothing.

6. Peregrine Falcons for their speed and their consistency in perching on the Golden Gate Bridge.

7. But mostly, thank you to such a wonderful, positive, and fun Hawkwatch team that came out each week despite the poor weather and identified those flying raptors like champions.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Total Sightings: 77
Hours Counted: 3
HPH: 25.67
Total Species: 6

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 25
Northern Harrier: 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 2
Red-shouldered Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 40
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Raptor: 2

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel

Although raptor activity is slowing down at this point in the season, we are still seeing some great birds. Today's highlight was a sub-adult Bald Eagle. We watched it power from East to North, trying to get away from some Ravens that were pestering it. This marks the sixth Bald Eagle sighting this season, matching the past ten-year average. Temperatures ranged in the high 50s to low 60s, with winds blowing from the Southwest.

Total Sightings: 175
Hours Counted: 5
HPH: 35
Total Species: 8

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 87
Bald Eagle: 1
Northern Harrier: 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 3
Cooper's Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 74
American Kestrel: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 4

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Chase

We've started the downward spiral into the end of the season and thus sadness has saturated the hearts of all the watchers. Crushed by the impending doom, the Tuesday I team prepared delicious treats which brightened the spirits of each intrepid binocular-wearing volunteer. Temperatures ranged from 58-60 F and winds were blowing from the South ish (S, SE, and SW).

Turkey Vultures and Redtails were our common species today, coming in exactly even in total numbers by 3:30 PM (88 for each species). A few Peregrines coasted by the hill, meandering over the Golden Gate Bridge before zooming off into the distance. One Northern Harrier looked particularly hungry, taking a steep and fast stoop towards something along the ground, but alas, the youngin was unsuccessful.

A great year with Tuesday I, thanks for all the food and the laughs!

Total Sightings: 195
Hours Counted: 5.75
HPH: 33.91
Total Species: 8

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 88
Northern Harrier: 6
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 3
Cooper's Hawk: 1
Red-shouldered Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 88
American Kestrel: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 5

Unidentified...
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, November 21, 2016  
Posted by: Robert

The final two-week cycle of the 2016 Hawkwatch season began today, and the Monday 1 Team finished strong. The highlight of the day was an adult Bald Eagle! The eagle was first spotted in the northwest, and gave the team great looks as it moved south and crossed the Golden Gate. This marks the fifth Bald Eagle counted by GGRO Hawkwatchers this season.

Temperatures today were in the high 50's to low 60's and winds were light from the west. Overall, raptor activity was fairly low, particularly in the second half of the day. Red-tailed Hawks, however, were still passing through in notable numbers. We recorded a total of 95 Redtails, with close to an even split between adults and juveniles.

Total Sightings: 161
Hours Counted: 5.75
HPH: 28
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 39
Osprey: 1
Bald Eagle: 1
Northern Harrier: 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 5
Cooper's Hawk: 2
Red-shouldered Hawk: 4
Red-tailed Hawk: 95
American Kestrel: 1
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 6

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, November 20, 2016  
Posted by: Violet and Isabel

Rain, rain, go away.
Come again after the season ends!

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, November 19, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Violet

Hawkwatch was rained out today. The team instead filled their bellies with diner food and coffee. The only bird-related discussion was ordering eggs over easy. Tomorrow's forecast could be similar, but stay tuned!

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, November 18, 2016  
Posted by: Chase and Emily

Blustery winds switched from East to West with an
Air temperature of 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Redtails
Littered the sky from start to finish and a
Distant Ferruginous hawk made a brief appearance.

Eventually a few Accipiters were seen and
Almost all were Sharpies. Sadly the
Goshawk still hasn't arrived, but the bird of the day
Lent the hawkwatchers great looks and its identity is
Enclosed in this post!

Total Sightings: 189
Hours Counted: 5.92
HPH: 31.93
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 53
Bald Eagle: 1
Northern Harrier: 8
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 11
Cooper's Hawk: 2
Red-shouldered Hawk: 4
Red-tailed Hawk: 102
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1
Buteo: 3

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, November 17, 2016  
Posted by: Robert and Emily

Beautiful day on the hill with very still winds! Quite the change from yesterday's blustery count. We had temperatures in the mid sixties and plenty of sun. The day started off interesting with not only a distant Ferruginous hawk, but an adult male Northern Harrier as well... what fantastic spotting! Shortly after we were visited by White-tailed kites (finally!) and two young Red-shouldered hawks. While the East quadrant was working a dark morph Red-tail, everyone else got on a high rough-legged hawk zooming along the coast from West to South. Unfortunately, the day went downhill from there in sightings, but there was an adult Golden eagle and Osprey to encourage us to keep scanning that still, empty blue sky!

Total Sightings: 209
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 34.83
Total Species: 13

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 66
Osprey: 1
White-tailed Kite: 3
Northern Harrier: 7
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 7
Cooper's Hawk: 3
Red-shouldered Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 111
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
Rough-legged Hawk: 1
Golden Eagle: 1
American Kestrel: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016  
Posted by: Robert and Violet

Easy, BREEZY, beautiful... Hawkwatch.

Beanies, scarves, and gloves were donned by the hawkwatch team today, as temps never went above the low 60s and gusty winds blew from the NW and W. We counted Turkey Vultures, Redtails, and a very low number of Accipiters. Four to five of our 50 Redtails took advantage of the wind and spent hours stilling in front of us. A juvenile Peregrine stooped and zoomed for a couple of minutes and we struggled to keep up. Another highlight of the day was a magnificent juvenile Ferruginous Hawk that rose in the north quadrant and quickly made its way over the bay. Not the most exciting day in terms of numbers, but it was full of beautiful, close looks at a variety of raptor species.

Total Sightings: 173
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 28.83
Total Species: 9

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 83
Northern Harrier: 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 13
Cooper's Hawk: 7
Red-shouldered Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 50
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 4

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1
Raptor: 4

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016  
Posted by: Emily

Fog in November?? Just when we thought we had left it all behind in August! Today the team took the morning to walk down to Kirby Cove and enjoyed the smell of wet Eucalyptus trees. We saw both of the resident Kirby Red-tailed hawks preening in the mist and they were totally unperturbed by our presence. Lots of sparrows, pygmy nuthatches, a hairy woodpecker, and hermit thrush were seen as well. But unfortunately the fog did not lift the hill and all the hawk watchers went home for some warm tea!

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, November 14, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Chase

Worried we would be socked in by fog all day, the Hawkwatch team took a leisurely stroll across the misty lagoon. But after some frantic radio calls from our helpful banders, we said our farewells to the egrets and herons and made our way up to the Hill. Much to our surprise, it was hot! Temperatures ranged from 65-75F, with little to no wind until the last hour or so from the North/Northwest.

As far as raptors go, it was a bit of slow day. We saw the classics: Redtails, Sharpies, Coops, and Turkey Vultures. There were a few adult accipiters in the mix and some gorgeous adult Redshoulders as well. One exciting happenstance was a minor disagreement between a juvenile and adult female harrier. The adult took a few dive bombs on the juv, in an almost "get off my lawn" type of style. Pesky kids!

Many water crossings were attempted by the raptors, but large bodies of water are scary! Where are the thermals? Many of them were forced to turn back and spend a little more time in the Headlands with us.

Total Sightings: 214
Hours Counted: 5
HPH: 42.8
Total Species: 8

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 60
Northern Harrier: 8
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 43
Cooper's Hawk: 26
Red-shouldered Hawk: 5
Red-tailed Hawk: 56
American Kestrel: 1
Merlin: 4

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 7
Falcon: 2
Raptor: 2

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, November 13, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Violet

After counting 119 Red-tailed Hawks on the Hill, we came down to our office to find an adult Redtail FEASTING on the flanks of a rabbit at the top of a power pole. It struggled at times to keep itself and its meal from plummeting to the ground. Because we had a warm and somewhat slow day on the Hill, this sighting was a real treat. Other highlights were nine Merlins, nine Harriers, and four dark morph Redtails.

Total Sightings: 366
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 61
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 114
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 9
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 56
Cooper's Hawk: 26
Red-shouldered Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 119
American Kestrel: 3
Merlin: 9
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 20
Buteo: 2
Raptor: 4

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, November 12, 2016  
Posted by: Violet and Isabel

Today was one for falcons and Ferruginous Hawks! We had good looks at most of the 12 Merlins we spotted, including one hunting for bugs over the Golden Gate Bridge and eating them on the wing. A juvenile Peregrine dove around in front of our north quadrant, giving us quite a show! Around noon, a beautiful adult Ferruginous Hawk appeared down in Rodeo Valley, rising slowly and giving us dorsal and ventral views for a few minutes. We started off with a bit of fog and an east wind, but it cleared up and the wind eventually started blowing from the west. A beautiful day with some lovely birds!

Total Sightings: 253
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 42.17
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 94
Northern Harrier: 7
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 45
Cooper's Hawk: 5
Red-shouldered Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 72
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 3
Merlin: 12
Peregrine Falcon: 4

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 2
Falcon: 1
Raptor: 5

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, November 11, 2016  
Posted by: Violet and Emily

Fickle wind, fickle fog,*
What to write for today's blog?

Turkey vultures were a-risin',
Redtails soared across the horizon.

Rain expected in the mornin',
Hopefully it won't be pourin'!

*Temps ranged from low to high 60s. Overcast above, with fog in the morning and again in the afternoon. Winds started low, then picked up progressively into the afternoon.



Total Sightings: 217
Hours Counted: 5.5
HPH: 39.45
Total Species: 9

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 97
Northern Harrier: 9
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 22
Cooper's Hawk: 8
Red-shouldered Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 63
American Kestrel: 3
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 8
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, November 10, 2016  
Posted by: Chase and Emily

Thursday I team made it to the hill AGAIN. HA! Take that fog!! We started the day with the second Prairie Falcon of the season, then continued to get Merlins, kestrels, and Peregrine Falcons... the first four falcon day of the season!! An adult Golden eagle was spotted in the west getting dive bombed by a raven. A couple of dark morph Red-tails were seen today, but no Harlan's. Numbers were a little low, but the weather was partly cloudy with temperatures in the high sixties. Lovely day on the hill.

Total Sightings: 216
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 36
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 81
Northern Harrier: 10
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 38
Cooper's Hawk: 12
Red-tailed Hawk: 60
Golden Eagle: 1
American Kestrel: 2
Merlin: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 7
Prairie Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 2

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016  
Posted by: Robert Isablel and Violet

Conditions in the Marin Headlands were solid for hawkwatching on this November day, with good visibility, a moderate northeast wind, and temperatures in the high 60's to low 70's. Both Red-tailed Hawk and Sharp-shinned Hawk numbers were high, with Redtails outnumbering 123 to 119. Four of these Redtails were dark morphs, including one Harlan's Hawk that provided a great view of its light gray tail with a red tip. The path taken by Sharpies became routine, as individuals rose up in the west quadrant, wrapped around north and made a line for San Francisco to the southeast.

Total Sightings: 392
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 65.33
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 106
Northern Harrier: 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 119
Cooper's Hawk: 20
Red-shouldered Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 123
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 1
Merlin: 3
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 9
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Chase

Due to a lack of wind, a temperature range of 68-74F, a 25th birthday, and the end of a dramatic presidential campaign, the heat was felt on Hawk Hill today. With pie and a Swainson's Hawk on our plate, the Tuesday I team ended the day with full bellies and 10 species on the data sheet.

Our accipiters are still streaming through with a few adults in the late afternoon. There were also several good looks at Harriers as they combed the contours of the surrounding hills. Our "bird of the day" was, of course, a Swainson's Hawk, spotted by an intern. Although her mouth was full of apple pie, luckily for us, the intern was still able to call out a muffled, "Buteo over South Platform!" The back lighting from the sun and the glare of the ocean prevented a diagnosis on age, however it was a Swainson's Hawk nonetheless!



Total Sightings: 262
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 43.67
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 92
Northern Harrier: 12
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 38
Cooper's Hawk: 14
Red-shouldered Hawk: 4
Swainson's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 80
American Kestrel: 3
Merlin: 4
Peregrine Falcon: 5

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 7
Falcon: 1
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, November 07, 2016  
Posted by: Robert

Weather conditions were pleasant on Hawk Hill today, with temperatures risings from the mid 60's into the low 70's. Winds were light, coming from the east in the morning and switching north by the afternoon. Redtails were moving, including two adult dark morphs. Accipiters tended to pass by high and in small flurries. Overall, activity was highest from 11am to 12pm, during which our total for the hour was 69 raptors. By the mid afternoon, things had slowed down significantly. Due to daylight savings time, at 3:00pm the sun was low in the sky and very few birds of prey were about.

Total Sightings: 261
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 43.5
Total Species: 9

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 86
Northern Harrier: 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 58
Cooper's Hawk: 24
Red-shouldered Hawk: 4
Red-tailed Hawk: 72
American Kestrel: 2
Merlin: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 7
Buteo: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, November 06, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel

We had to delay the start of our count to about noon due to fog over Hawk Hill. Temperatures ranged in the low- to mid-60s with light winds blowing from the West. There was not a lot of raptor activity even after the fog cleared from the Hill, but we did our best to change Ravens into Peregrines and Bluebirds into Kestrels (they were uncooperative). The most exciting episode today involved an adult female Northern Harrier feeding on a small bird just downhill from our platform on Hawk Hill. Nature!

Total Sightings: 80
Hours Counted: 3.25
HPH: 24.62
Total Species: 5

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 26
Northern Harrier: 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 19
Cooper's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 27

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 2
Buteo: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, November 05, 2016  
Posted by: Violet and Isabel

Today's hawkwatch team was hoping for a good variety of species like the last two days, and instead got hit with a mid-day bout of fog. The day started off warm with little wind, but the wind picked up just before 11, bringing much fog with it. We lost most of our visibility, and had an occasional Sharpie fly close in the fog, our most common species of the day. After the fog cleared at 1:20, we saw a good number of Sharpies, Redtails, and a handful of Harriers. Temps remained in the 60s, our spirits remained high, and thankfully the fog did not remain low.

Total Sightings: 219
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 36.5
Total Species: 6

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 32
Northern Harrier: 8
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 76
Cooper's Hawk: 18
Red-tailed Hawk: 69
Merlin: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 11
Falcon: 3

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, November 04, 2016  
Posted by: Emily and Chase

With a flight like yesterday's, the Friday II team had high expectations for the day... and we were not disappointed. Today was hotter than yesterday (79 degrees Fahrenheit) with winds from the North dying at about one o'clock. Once the wind was gone we really had to crane our necks to see some fifth quadrant birds. Besides all of the amazing falcons seen today, we saw an adult Bald Eagle high in the sky from the North headed due South. With a scope one of the interns shouted "That eagle has tags on its wings!" Luckily, one of the hawk watchers had a camera, and we hope to find out where this individual came from! Shortly after, there were not one but TWO late season young Broad-winged hawks... had they made it to the headlands yesterday the Thursday II team would have seen all six buteo species. We ended the day with a great look at an adult male harrier of the season. And now we leave you to ponder one of life's greatest questions: If a sharpie is eaten by a peregrine on the hill, do you erase a sharpie from the count?

Total Sightings: 420
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 70
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 87
Bald Eagle: 1
Northern Harrier: 14
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 138
Cooper's Hawk: 45
Red-shouldered Hawk: 7
Broad-winged Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 86
American Kestrel: 10
Merlin: 9
Peregrine Falcon: 13

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 6
Buteo: 2

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, November 03, 2016  
Posted by: Robert and Emily

The team reached the hill this morning anticipating a hot day... boy were we wrong! The North East winds were gusting up to 18 mile per hour (whoa) with temperatures in the mid 60's. This resulted in a flight of birds appearing in the West quadrant and zooming through to the North... almost following the exact same path, one after the other. We had a fantastic look at a juvenile Rough-legged hawk and an adult female later in the day. A couple of juvenile Ferruginous hawks were nice, and we reached the thirteenth species with a late day Osprey! Today mimicked a "peak" day with our Accipiter numbers, though most of them were adults. Did we forget to mention the Swainson's hawk that hung around for about 15 minutes?? What a great day for Buteos!!

Total Sightings: 414
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 69
Total Species: 13

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 76
Osprey: 1
Northern Harrier: 10
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 175
Cooper's Hawk: 18
Red-shouldered Hawk: 6
Swainson's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 79
Ferruginous Hawk: 2
Rough-legged Hawk: 2
American Kestrel: 11
Merlin: 13
Peregrine Falcon: 4

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 14
Buteo: 1
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016  
Posted by: Robert and Chase

Today, the Hill was infested with Sharpies and Merlins! A beautiful warm sun prompted heavy sunscreen usage and excellent lighting for our flurry of adult Sharp-shinned Hawks. Wind direction was primarily from the East and Southeast and our temperatures rose from mid 50s to high 60s.

We counted a total of 121 Sharpies with 38 adults presenting slate blue backs. We even had a tricky fast flying adult Sharpie sporting a gorgeous blue blazer...oh wait, that's a Merlin! Including that fellow, we saw 14 Merlins whiz by, a few snacking on dragonflies as they went. Not to be outdone, the Buteo genus threw out a few dark morph juvenile Redtails, which we very much appreciated.

Total Sightings: 298
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 49.67
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 52
Northern Harrier: 10
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 121
Cooper's Hawk: 17
Red-shouldered Hawk: 4
Red-tailed Hawk: 61
Ferruginous Hawk: 2
American Kestrel: 7
Merlin: 14
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 6
Falcon: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016  
Posted by: Robert and Emily

After multiple days of dreary weather, raptors were again on the move through the Marin Headlands. With 13 different species seen, the Hawkwatchers left Hawk Hill feeling fulfilled. It was a day with many highlights, beginning with an adult Golden Eagle! Two Ferruginous Hawks were seen, including one adult that passed close overhead and exhibited the rufous "V" formed by the legs. Falcon numbers were high, and the team had views of Merlins catching and consuming insect prey. In the early afternoon, shouts from the north quadrant of the Hill about an uncommon raptor stirred excitement. While not everyone got their lenses on the bird, a few members of the team spotted and confirmed a Rough-legged Hawk! For the season, this marks the first Rough-legged seen by Hawkwatch, and the second seen in the Headlands.

Total Sightings: 263
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 43.83
Total Species: 13

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 98
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 28
Cooper's Hawk: 14
Red-shouldered Hawk: 4
Red-tailed Hawk: 86
Ferruginous Hawk: 2
Rough-legged Hawk: 1
Golden Eagle: 1
American Kestrel: 3
Merlin: 8
Peregrine Falcon: 11

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 2
Buteo: 2
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, October 31, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Chase

After a series of rainy days, Hawkwatch was pumped to be scanning the skies once again. Although some treacherous fog obscured the Hill during the morning hours, by noon we were spotting Redtails and the occasional butterfly.

A slow day, many would declare, however the weather was decent, mid 60s, and a few birds were flying. Highlights include a Northern Harrier, some adult Sharp-shinned hawks, and a fast-flying Merlin and Peregrine within 30 seconds of each other.



Total Sightings: 73
Hours Counted: 3.75
HPH: 19.47
Total Species: 7

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 44
Northern Harrier: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 8
Cooper's Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 11
Merlin: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 2
Buteo: 1
Falcon: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, October 30, 2016  
Posted by: Violet and Isabel

The storm came in this morning, as predicted, so no raptor counting is happening today. Our docent programs are also cancelled with the rain, bringing our fall docent season to a wet close. Despite the Hawk Talks and Raptor Releases being over, you can still come up to Hawk Hill to see the wondrous raptor migration yourself! We'll be counting every dry day through December 4.



Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, October 29, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Violet

The rain cleared today, but the fog unfortunately did not follow suit. We birded in Rodeo Valley and on Conzelman Road, staring expectantly at the Hill for lifting clouds. There were a few moments of near clearing, only to be followed quickly by another round of dense fog. We didn't count, but down in the valley we saw 3 American Kestrels, 3 Redtails, and a Harrier.

More rain is anticipated to come in tonight and through tomorrow, but if it happens to be clear weather, join us for our final day of docent programs on the Hill. The Hawk Talk will begin at noon and the Raptor Release will follow at 1. Again, these programs are weather permitting!

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, October 28, 2016  
Posted by: Violet & Emily

Hawk watch was rained out today! Even though we didn't get to count hawks, at least the headlands are receiving a much needed drink.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, October 27, 2016  
Posted by: Emily and Chase

With storms on the horizon, we had hopes for a few hawks this grand Thursday morning. And such was granted. We were graced by 3 streaky Sharp-shinned juveniles. Our first zipped through the South quadrant and took a desperate flight over the water to disappear by the VA hospital. The next was a distant speck bird that flew over the lagoon and also headed towards the hospital. And our final bird of the day appeared in Kirby cove and made a beeline for the North Tower of the Golden Gate Bridge. Lucky for the little bugger, there were no menacing Peregrines perched along the tower.

A few White-throated swifts were cruising along and a group of Cedar Waxwings was even spotted. However, the storm continued to roll in, and with a final spattering of rain, we called it a day.

Total Sightings: 3
Hours Counted: 2
HPH: 1.5
Total Species: 1

Species Counts:
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 3

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel

Jumping right into the highlight of the day: an adult Ferruginous Hawk! We all had to do a double-take of this bird because it looked like a juvenile bird from the ventral side--we could hardly make out the rufous "pants" with the sun gleaming behind it. Once the bird generously banked and gave us different angles, there were no doubts about the rust color on the dorsal side. Perhaps it was the change in wind direction from South to West that brought this regal bird to Hawkwatch today. We enjoyed sunny skies and moderate winds, but rain is expected tomorrow.

Total Sightings: 194
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 32.33
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 90
Northern Harrier: 9
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 13
Cooper's Hawk: 13
Red-shouldered Hawk: 4
Red-tailed Hawk: 53
Ferruginous Hawk: 2
American Kestrel: 2
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 4

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1
Buteo: 1
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel

Weather conditions were not ideal for raptor migration to say the least. Hawkwatchers were outfitted head to toe in colorful rain gear, creating something of a rainbow on this gray day. A strong South wind blew moisture over the Headlands, but few birds. Three Peregrine Falcons danced around the hills in the afternoon to relieve hawkwatchers of their suffering.

Total Sightings: 46
Hours Counted: 4.92
HPH: 9.35
Total Species: 5

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 24
Northern Harrier: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 12
Peregrine Falcon: 6

Unidentified...
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, October 24, 2016  
Posted by: Robert

Chilly conditions on Hawk Hill today. As the storm moved in, we had temperatures in the high 50's to low 60's and winds from the south reaching up to 25mph. Cloud cover was high, however, making for good visibility. Few raptors were moving, with only 92 birds counted over 5.5 hours. The Hawkwatchers in south quadrant had an exciting spectacle in the middle of the day, as an adult Peregrine Falcon chased an adult Red-tailed Hawk. Overall, it seemed that raptors were hiding out from the approaching inclement weather.

Total Sightings: 92
Hours Counted: 5.5
HPH: 16.73
Total Species: 6

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 45
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 6
Cooper's Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 32
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 4

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, October 23, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel

The fog never fully consumed us, but we had to search for raptors through small clearings within pockets of fog for most of the day. Temperatures were in the high 50s, with chilly gusts over 10mph in the afternoon--it was not the best day for me to forget my jacket! There were a fair number of Northern Harriers spotted amidst the fog, as well as a couple of Merlins. A friendly reminder: our final Hawk Talks and Banding Programs of the season will take place October 29 and 30 if weather permits.

Total Sightings: 177
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 29.5
Total Species: 7

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 57
Northern Harrier: 8
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 43
Cooper's Hawk: 9
Red-tailed Hawk: 44
Merlin: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 4

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 5
Buteo: 2
Raptor: 3

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, October 22, 2016  
Posted by: Violet and Isabel

Highlights of today's somewhat slow raptor count: a dark morph juvenile Broadwing accompanied by another juvenile Broadwing, good looks at a few Northern Harriers, and an Osprey powering past us towards San Francisco. The day got more clear and less windy as it went on, and temperatures ranged from 65-68.

Temperatures are expected to decrease, and rain is predicted in the next couple of days. We'll see how it affects the birds tomorrow!

Total Sightings: 230
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 38.33
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 58
Osprey: 1
Northern Harrier: 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 70
Cooper's Hawk: 21
Red-shouldered Hawk: 1
Broad-winged Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 47
American Kestrel: 3
Merlin: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 16
Buteo: 2
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, October 21, 2016  
Posted by: Chase and Emily

Today was a lovely symphony of fog horns and raptors. The hill was still and sunny, and the hawk watchers were only slightly blinded by the reflection off the fog that hung below the hill. The team was challenged by the lighting; lots of "dark morph" accipiters were recorded, and lots of individuals showed a false orange tint. But with good communication and collaboration, all the birds got the attention and tallies they deserved. A westerly wind picked up later in the afternoon and brought a nice flurry of harriers, a Red-shouldered hawk, an adult Peregrine, mystery kestrel, and two juvenile Ferruginous hawks!

Total Sightings: 417
Hours Counted: 5.5
HPH: 75.82
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 77
Northern Harrier: 9
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 149
Cooper's Hawk: 69
Red-shouldered Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 71
Ferruginous Hawk: 2
American Kestrel: 1
Merlin: 4
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 30
Raptor: 3

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, October 20, 2016  
Posted by: Robert and Emily

What a scorcher! Though temperatures never got above 83 degrees Fahrenheit, there was almost no wind and the hawk watchers sure felt it. We made up for yesterday's lack of kestrels, with good looks at a few males throughout the day. An osprey pulled a Houdini act on the team with a brief appearance on the rifle range. There were a couple of adults sprinkled on top of our juvenile accipiter sundae today, and the heat sure did give us some practice with those fifth quadrant birds!

Total Sightings: 354
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 59
Total Species: 9

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 77
Osprey: 1
Northern Harrier: 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 130
Cooper's Hawk: 64
Red-shouldered Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 58
American Kestrel: 5
Merlin: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 10

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016  
Posted by: Robert Violet and Chase

Great diversity of species today on Hawk Hill, with comfortable temperatures and good visibility. There were multiple exciting points, starting with two juvenile Ferruginous Hawks that passed through within minutes of each other and were in no hurry to leave. Another highlight moment took place in the early afternoon, when three White-tailed Kites were in a single field of view! Peregrines and Merlins were out and about, but unfortunately no American Kestrel to complete the trifecta. Shortly after 2:30pm, the team was graced with the presence of two Golden Eagles, one juvenile and one subadult! The team was already feeling lucky when, near the end of the day, a distant Swainson's Hawk was spotted! All in a day's work.

Total Sightings: 385
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 64.17
Total Species: 13

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 87
Osprey: 1
White-tailed Kite: 4
Northern Harrier: 9
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 113
Cooper's Hawk: 53
Red-shouldered Hawk: 9
Swainson's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 75
Ferruginous Hawk: 2
Golden Eagle: 2
Merlin: 5
Peregrine Falcon: 6

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 13
Buteo: 2
Raptor: 3

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016  
Posted by: Robert and Emily

Temperatures today were in the high 60's to low 70's, with intermittent clouds but overall sunny skies. While we only counted eight different species, there were notables such a juvenile Ferruginous Hawk and a couple Merlins. We also saw quite a few Red-shoulders today, including five adults! Beyond raptors, there were large numbers of violet-green swallows capitalizing on the termite eruption that followed weekend rain.

Total Sightings: 278
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 46.33
Total Species: 8

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 90
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 74
Cooper's Hawk: 26
Red-shouldered Hawk: 11
Red-tailed Hawk: 62
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
Merlin: 4
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 7
Buteo: 1
Falcon: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, October 17, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Chase

Having escaped the rain, the Monday II team stumbled upon a mild temperature day (low 60s) with bouts of sun interrupted by some serious fog.

To jump-start our morning, a leucistic Redtail soared by with an antagonizing Raven snapping at its bold red tail. It had white shoulder pads seen clearly from the dorsal side, but alas, back-lighting obscured the ventral colors from our eyes! Later, we had a blue-grey backed adult Peregrine swoop by the Golden Gate Bridge showing off a rosy breast color. How risque!

However, our day was mostly dominated by swifts, swallows, scrub jays, and phoebes who came to scarf down on the emerging termites. After a good rain, these termites provide an excellent protein source for a variety of birds. From the noises the White-throated swifts were making, I believe it.

Total Sightings: 255
Hours Counted: 5.75
HPH: 44.35
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 64
Osprey: 1
Northern Harrier: 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 77
Cooper's Hawk: 26
Red-shouldered Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 64
Ferruginous Hawk: 2
American Kestrel: 3
Merlin: 4
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 4
Falcon: 1
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, October 16, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel

The fog in the early morning lifted minimally, and only to bring progressively heavier precipitation over the Headlands. Showers are predicted for the remainder of the day so we will not be able to count today. If I were a raptor, I would go snuggle up in a nice tree cavity and preen my feathers. Hopefully things clear for tomorrow's Hawkwatch team!

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, October 15, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel

The Hill was clear at 9 o'clock so we rushed up ourselves and the gear to start the count. Once at the top of the Hill, I thought to myself, "Well, this day could go either way." To the East you could see the city with hopeful rays of sun piercing through the haze. To the West was a gloomy blanket of fog moving over the valley. We turned our backs for 30 seconds to set up a couple scopes and put on our jackets, then turned back around to find the fog had enveloped all four quadrants. Next came a couple large gusts accompanied by mist. This was enough to send us packing our things down the Hill. We were not able to get back up to Hawk Hill today, but we were able to admire a male American Kestrel outside the Visitor Center.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, October 14, 2016  
Posted by: Emily

Well we didn't make it to the hill, but for a better reason than fog; it was raining!

A much needed drink for the parched headlands meant a break for the hawk watchers... until next time, hawk watch out.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, October 13, 2016  
Posted by: Chase and Emily

On Wednesday, we stared quietly at the weather report forecasting a foggy day for Thursday October 13th, 2016. "Not again," we grumbled. "The Thursday I team doesn't deserve such treatment!" And we shed a few tears and tore out a couple hairs in frustration. But little did we know, there would be a beautiful day waiting for us!

The Thursday I team has continually maintained a great attitude in the face of fogginess, which was bolstered by the chance to finally see some birds on the Hill. We had a lovely day, hitting a total of 313 birds and 10 species. Mixed in the steady numbers of accipiters, were a few adults, boldly flashing grey backs and rufous barred chests. Northern Harriers bopped about the contours of the hills and in the early morning fog a lone Broadwing appeared. That's our first Broadwing of the season! Well, I guess all of these birds are our first of the season...but that's besides the point.

Thank you Thursday I for your steadfast cheerfulness in the face of many fog out days and your excellent birding skills when we finally did get to count.

Total Sightings: 313
Hours Counted: 5.67
HPH: 55.2
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 96
Northern Harrier: 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 89
Cooper's Hawk: 42
Red-shouldered Hawk: 4
Broad-winged Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 59
American Kestrel: 3
Merlin: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 10
Buteo: 1
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016  
Posted by: Violet Robert and Isabel

Today's team was hopeful that the morning fog would clear, and it really looked like it would, but it did not. We waited and looked for raptors down Conzelman Road, glancing longingly at the top of the hill to see if the clouds would lift. While we waited, we saw many Accipiters, two American Kestrels, a few Redtails, a juvenile Redshoulder, and an adult female Northern Harrier. If only we had gotten to see them from Hawk Hill!

It was misty and chilly, in the low 60s. Tomorrow is supposed to be cloudy, with rain picking up on Friday and possibly over the weekend, so keep an eye out on weather forecast!



Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Chase

Hawkwatch enjoyed a beautiful 14 species day! Although it was a slow morning, the afternoon boosted our species count. Within just moments of each other, a Peregrine, a Bald Eagle, a Broadwing, a dark morph Redtail, and an American Kestrel appeared in the north! The Bald Eagle was the second recorded on our counts this season, however, this particular bird was a sub-adult. Bald Eagles take five years to reach adult plumage. Because we cannot always identify these raptors to age in their in-between years, we record them as sub-adults at GGRO.

Total Sightings: 338
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 56.33
Total Species: 14

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 91
Osprey: 1
White-tailed Kite: 1
Bald Eagle: 1
Northern Harrier: 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 97
Cooper's Hawk: 50
Red-shouldered Hawk: 4
Broad-winged Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 54
Ferruginous Hawk: 3
American Kestrel: 4
Merlin: 4
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 16
Buteo: 1
Falcon: 1
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, October 10, 2016  
Posted by: Robert

On a misty October morn,
The Hawkwatchers had sworn,
That they'd reach the top of the Hill,
And brave both wind and chill.
But alas, the fog remained,
Quite soon the team felt strained,
Not even one Sharp-shin,
Was seen from the Headlands of Marin.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, October 09, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Violet

Today turned out to be cooler than yesterday, which was a relief for Hawkwatchers. Low fog over Rodeo Beach in the morning receded by noon and winds from the west jump-started our slow morning count. We juggled accipiters throughout the afternoon and were surprised by a couple of low-flying Ferruginous Hawks in the west. There was also a rare sighting of an adult female Northern Harrier that perched on a bush for several minutes. As the Blue Angels jetted overhead, a Peregrine assaulted a Red-tail, ending our count with 11 species.

Total Sightings: 428
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 71.33
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 70
Northern Harrier: 6
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 182
Cooper's Hawk: 55
Red-shouldered Hawk: 4
Broad-winged Hawk: 7
Red-tailed Hawk: 49
Ferruginous Hawk: 3
American Kestrel: 5
Merlin: 4
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 37
Raptor: 5

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, October 08, 2016  
Posted by: Violet & Isabel

There were a plethora of things in the sky today: raptors, Violet-green Swallows, balloon spiders, dragonflies, and lots of flight demonstrations! It was a hot SF Fleet Week day with temps ranging from 77-86 and Blue Angels loudly flying past the hill before flipping and looping over the bay.

Raptor highlights were a high number of Northern Harriers (14) and an increase in adult Accipiters (9 Sharpies and 6 Coops)! Some of the Accipiters were difficult to age because of the low, pink light cast by the autumn sun. Later in the afternoon we had 4 juvenile Broadwings and an adult Golden Eagle.

It was toasty, but fun! Tomorrow should be another good, hot day as well. Just a reminder, we have no Hawk Talk and Raptor Release tomorrow because of Fleet Week. We will resume docent programs on Oct 15.

Total Sightings: 452
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 75.33
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 106
Osprey: 2
Northern Harrier: 14
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 138
Cooper's Hawk: 78
Red-shouldered Hawk: 9
Broad-winged Hawk: 4
Red-tailed Hawk: 64
Golden Eagle: 1
American Kestrel: 4
Merlin: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 23
Buteo: 3
Raptor: 3

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, October 07, 2016  
Posted by: Emily

Hawk watching 101: A beginner's guide to Friday II

Step 1: Preparation
First thing you're going to want is lots of food, water, and sunscreen. Make sure it's more than just one bottle of water, more than SPF 30, and be prepared to share your lunch with the yellow jackets!
Did I mention bringing binoculars? Those will be handy, too.

Step 2: Mental Alertness
Once on the hill the birds will have no mercy. From the minute you get there until you finish the count they will be on a mission, so don't get distracted by that Golden Eagle for too long... or that Ferruginous. Make sure to take a break every once in a whi- HOLY COW DID YOU JUST SEE THAT PEREGRINE STOOP??
Anyways, try to stay focused on your quadrant so you don't miss anyth- What's that? There's a kite in my quadrant? OK thanks for telling me West quadrant! Geez.

Step 3: Remember Why You Came
Even though your feet will hurt, and your eyes will get tired, and you might get frustrated as you become an expert at hawk ID; take time to stop. Put your binoculars down and look up as five Accipiters ride a thermal above you. Then look down at all the wonderful people by your side teaching and being taught as you all work together to collect data that will change the way we look at raptor life history for decades to come!

This is why we hawk watch, and this is why we- BROAD WING OVER THE SOUTH PLATFORM!!!

Total Sightings: 420
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 70
Total Species: 13

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 85
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 8
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 128
Cooper's Hawk: 67
Red-shouldered Hawk: 6
Broad-winged Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 73
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
Golden Eagle: 1
American Kestrel: 4
Merlin: 5
Peregrine Falcon: 7

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 25
Buteo: 4
Falcon: 1
Raptor: 3

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, October 06, 2016  
Posted by: Emily and Robert

What a beautiful day to count some hawks! The Thursday II team definitely worked on their tans today and got an excellent show from the Blue Angels. Oh right... birds! The most exciting birds of the day were the adult Red-shouldered hawk, a Merlin who gave us a nice long look as it hunted dragonflies, a Golden Eagle that perched on Slacker Hill before getting bombarded by ravens, and last but not least the lone Ferruginous hawk getting dive-bombed by a Cooper's hawk! All in all, a good day for the team as the Accipiters slow down and the Eagles show up.

Total Sightings: 410
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 68.33
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 106
Northern Harrier: 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 141
Cooper's Hawk: 64
Red-shouldered Hawk: 3
Broad-winged Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 60
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
Golden Eagle: 2
Merlin: 5
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 17
Buteo: 2
Falcon: 1
Raptor: 3

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016  
Posted by: Robert Violet and Chase

Today, was pretty standard...

Oh wait a second, 2 Golden Eagles? One juvenile and one sub-adult to be precise! We got a great look at the juvenile, what with its three points of light, and a very clean black and white tail. The sub-adult was identified after a run-in with a Redtail, and by a messy tail and clearly molting flight feathers.

Also, we had close looks at an adult Peregrine, fierce and pointy as ever, as well as some juvenile Broadwings, muted colors and crow-sized.

Weather was sunny with a small breeze from the North and Northwest. Temperature range: 64-71F

Total Sightings: 393
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 65.5
Total Species: 12

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 139
Osprey: 2
Northern Harrier: 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 89
Cooper's Hawk: 46
Red-shouldered Hawk: 10
Broad-winged Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 68
Golden Eagle: 2
American Kestrel: 2
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 6

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 17
Buteo: 3
Raptor: 2

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016  
Posted by: Robert and Emily

We had good diversity today- 12 species! However, considering the fair weather and time of season, there weren't a whole lot of raptors passing through. A White-tailed Kite appeared to be on a mission today, moving quickly past Hawk Hill and toward San Francisco. Another uncommon sighting was an adult female Northern Harrier, seen hunting low in the Headlands. Hoping for more raptor activity later this week now that the minor storm front has moved through.

Total Sightings: 251
Hours Counted: 5.5
HPH: 45.64
Total Species: 12

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 82
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 36
Cooper's Hawk: 37
Red-shouldered Hawk: 6
Broad-winged Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 62
Ferruginous Hawk: 2
American Kestrel: 1
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 8
Buteo: 6
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, October 03, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Chase

A bit of a dreary day, weather wise, but we braved the elements nonetheless. The day was dominated by Turkey Vultures, and a few of the normal crew (Redtails, Sharpies, and Coops) snuck in as well. Right before we left some Harriers passed us by, one giving us a peek at its pumpkin ventral color.

Total Sightings: 80
Hours Counted: 4
HPH: 20
Total Species: 5

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 53
Northern Harrier: 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 10
Cooper's Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 11

Unidentified...
Buteo: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, October 02, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Violet

GGRO Hawkwatch was more like warbler-watch this morning as we waited for the fog to clear over Hawk Hill. There have been sightings of a Blackpoll Warbler near the Marin Headlands Visitor Center over the past couple of days, but we didn't have any luck. Around 11am, we ventured up to Hawk Hill to find it still completely engulfed in fog. A sudden break in the fog at 12:30pm gave way to beautiful sunny skies and gusts from the North. Although our raptor count didn't last long, we had an 8 species day, including an adult Peregrine and a close juvenile Broadwing. Other than that, the accipiters were making their rounds through each quadrant.

Total Sightings: 203
Hours Counted: 2.75
HPH: 73.82
Total Species: 8

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 50
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 39
Cooper's Hawk: 32
Red-shouldered Hawk: 1
Broad-winged Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 58
American Kestrel: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 12
Raptor: 6

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, October 01, 2016  
Posted by: Violet & Isabel

What is that soaring o'er the radar tower?
Large, broad wings during the 11 o'clock hour.
No white... Gold nape. Oh, how regal!
Look everybody, an adult Golden Eagle!!!

That's right, an adult Golden Eagle was a highlight of the day. We also spotted an adult female Harrier, which we see few of each season. The day was sunny, with temperatures ranging from 65 to 71, and winds were light. Rain is in the forecast for Sunday or Monday, so who knows what the raptor count will be like in the next few days.

Total Sightings: 337
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 56.17
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 118
Northern Harrier: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 50
Cooper's Hawk: 63
Red-shouldered Hawk: 5
Broad-winged Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 65
Golden Eagle: 1
American Kestrel: 3
Merlin: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 13
Buteo: 1
Raptor: 10

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, September 30, 2016  
Posted by: Emily

Friday I has done it again! We started the day with an adult Red-shouldered hawk and a Broad-winged hawk. We ended up counting an Osprey, a White-tailed kite, a juvenile Northern harrier, a Ferruginous hawk, and eight Merlins. Another 13 species day ain't no thing for this team, with Kim as our fearless leader, all hawks are possible!!

Total Sightings: 510
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 85
Total Species: 13

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 144
Osprey: 1
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 90
Cooper's Hawk: 55
Red-shouldered Hawk: 9
Broad-winged Hawk: 36
Red-tailed Hawk: 129
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 4
Merlin: 8
Peregrine Falcon: 4

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 20
Buteo: 3
Raptor: 4

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, September 29, 2016  
Posted by: Emily and Chase

Blast! The fog has cursed us again. The Thursday I team has yet to embrace the season with a solid day of hawk watching. Although we did spend a very informative morning puzzling over dark morph pictures and admiring regal Ferruginous photos. Praying for a shift in weather, we climbed the mystical Hill, swathed in fog. While no such change occurred before the 1PM cut-off time, we saw a few accipiters blow by in the gusty wind as well as some adult Redtails chasing after one another. As always the soup was delicious and the company very appreciated.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Robert

Though fall is now upon us,
And whispers of peak do charm us,
Today felt more like Fogust.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Chase

After a hot Monday Hawkwatch, we ascended the Hill to find a fog inversion brewing. Although beautiful to watch unfold, the fog layer made Sharpie spotting particularly difficult as the little accipiters popped in and out of the fog like spastic little dancers. A couple of Ospreys passed by, as well as a White-tailed Kite and a juvenile Ferruginous Hawk. A few Broadwings are still cruising around the Hill so you better get out here fast!

Total Sightings: 274
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 45.67
Total Species: 12

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 91
Osprey: 2
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 81
Cooper's Hawk: 28
Red-shouldered Hawk: 2
Broad-winged Hawk: 5
Red-tailed Hawk: 40
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 4
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 9
Buteo: 1
Falcon: 1
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, September 26, 2016  
Posted by: Robert

It was a sweltering day on Hawk Hill. Sunscreen was a must, and a cooler filed with extra water was brought up in preparation for the heat. Temperatures reached into the 90's by noon and winds were very light from the east. The team called it a day at 2pm.

There weren't a lot of raptors moving, however a variety of species were seen. To start the day, we had a great look at an adult Peregrine Falcon as it rose out of Kirby Cove. Also near Kirby Cove, we watched a juvenile Ferruginous Hawk and a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk chase one another. At one point in the day, a Broad-winged Hawk soared close over the Hill. It was identified as a juvenile due to the lack of a thick white tail band and dark trailing edge of the wing.

Total Sightings: 186
Hours Counted: 4.5
HPH: 41.33
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 40
Northern Harrier: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 42
Cooper's Hawk: 36
Red-shouldered Hawk: 3
Broad-winged Hawk: 7
Red-tailed Hawk: 42
Ferruginous Hawk: 2
American Kestrel: 3
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 6
Buteo: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, September 25, 2016  
Posted by: Violet & Isabel

As predicted, today was HOT. The wind was gusty when we arrived to the Hill this morning, but it died down as the heat rose. The temperature reached 90 degrees by 2pm. Highlights of the fairly slow day were a male Northern Harrier, good looks at some juvenile Harriers, and one Broadwing that flew close over our heads. We also had a beautiful dark morph juvenile Redtail soaring over the bay, and were fortunate to have an adult female Coopers Hawk for the banding docent demonstration. Warm weather is expected for tomorrow as well, but hopefully the birds will still be flying.

Total Sightings: 323
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 53.83
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 117
Osprey: 1
Northern Harrier: 11
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 55
Cooper's Hawk: 29
Red-shouldered Hawk: 13
Broad-winged Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 78
American Kestrel: 4
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 9
Raptor: 4

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, September 24, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Violet

It was another warm, beautiful Saturday up on Hawk Hill. Winds were low, so the raptor flow was a little slower than yesterday. Despite the slowness, we were excited to see 2 White-tailed Kites, 12 Broad-winged Hawks, and 2 dark morph Redtails. Lots of Sharpies and Coops flapped their way overhead, as was expected. We're anticipating even more heat tomorrow, but we're hoping for some exciting species to show up in the Headlands. We'll see!

Total Sightings: 395
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 65.83
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 130
White-tailed Kite: 2
Northern Harrier: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 57
Cooper's Hawk: 90
Red-shouldered Hawk: 9
Broad-winged Hawk: 12
Red-tailed Hawk: 71
American Kestrel: 4
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 14
Buteo: 1
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, September 23, 2016  
Posted by: Chase and Emily

What a stellar first day on the hill for Friday II! Everyone applied multiple layers of sunscreen and eventually the wind cooperated and came from the Northwest. We not only saw over four hundred birds, but counted the first White-tailed kites and Golden eagle of the season! Step and a local Red-tail started yelling about a Turkey Vulture in the north, but lo and behold it was no vulture... it was an eagle! We had a 13 species day and scanning the west for a last minute Ferruginous hawk that would get us to 14 species, a bobcat was spotted. Thanks for a great day Friday II team!

Total Sightings: 438
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 73
Total Species: 13

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 92
Osprey: 1
White-tailed Kite: 2
Northern Harrier: 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 107
Cooper's Hawk: 85
Red-shouldered Hawk: 12
Broad-winged Hawk: 10
Red-tailed Hawk: 94
Golden Eagle: 1
American Kestrel: 1
Merlin: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 21
Raptor: 4

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, September 22, 2016  
Posted by: Emily and Robert

The Thursday II team FINALLY made it to the hill! We had amazing weather, but not as many birds as we expected during peak. We did see some great birds though; the highlights being seven Peregrine falcons, two Northern harriers, two Merlins, and two short-eared owls! We also got to see some bird-on-bird action with accipiters dive-bombing Peregrines, Peregrines dive-bombing red-tails, and even the local red-tails performing territorial displays. Today also had a nice amount of Monarch butterflies going past the hill. Way to go Thursday II!

Total Sightings: 312
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 52
Total Species: 9

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 102
Northern Harrier: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 33
Cooper's Hawk: 53
Red-shouldered Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 91
American Kestrel: 2
Merlin: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 7

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 12
Buteo: 2
Falcon: 1
Raptor: 2

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016  
Posted by: Violet Chase & Robert

Today was chillier than expected, with some high cloud cover and wind from the west. Just after we set up on the hill, we immediately got a close look at a juvenile Broad-winged Hawk. The flow of raptors (especially accipiters) wasn't as intense as it was earlier this week, but we had 11 Broadwings and 4 beautiful Ferruginous Hawk sightings that kept us well-pleased. An Osprey also flew directly overhead with a fish ("I'll take that to-go, please!") and a dark morph adult Redtail made an appearance.

Total Sightings: 398
Hours Counted: 5.75
HPH: 69.22
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 106
Osprey: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 94
Cooper's Hawk: 50
Red-shouldered Hawk: 2
Broad-winged Hawk: 11
Red-tailed Hawk: 90
Ferruginous Hawk: 4
American Kestrel: 4
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 25
Buteo: 6
Falcon: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016  
Posted by: Robert and Emily

A poem for foggy days:

The Hawkwatchers all did yearn
for accipiters to learn.
But the fog would not burn,
with no raptors to discern
all they saw was a tern.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, September 19, 2016  
Posted by: Chase and Isabel

We approached the hill with caution. The rumors of sweltering heat from the day before prompted the lugging of bulky water containers and extra sunscreen bottles. However, Wednesday II was in luck. At tops, the temperature hit 86F, which was further soothed by a comforting breeze.

Like the temperature, our count was lower than yesterday, however still substantial. It was a great day for Sharp-shinned hawks, as we got to see 156 little ladies and fellas bounce by in the light wind. There were 53 Broadwings milling about in kettles, mostly far from the Hill. Although slightly straining for our lens-aided eyes, it was lovely to see those crow-sized Buteos rising off the thermals and passing through this place.

Thanks to all the extra eyes, scopes, and binoculars out there who helped out our small Wednesday II team.


Total Sightings: 465
Hours Counted: 5.83
HPH: 79.76
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 62
Osprey: 1
Northern Harrier: 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 156
Cooper's Hawk: 81
Red-shouldered Hawk: 2
Broad-winged Hawk: 53
Red-tailed Hawk: 78
American Kestrel: 5
Merlin: 3
Peregrine Falcon: 4

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 14
Falcon: 1
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, September 18, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel

Today was so hot, it would have been nice to slip away to the coast...Oh wait! We are on the coast! Today was very sunny with low winds, making for a very warm day on the Hill. For a moment, I thought I was back at home in the Central Valley. Our team did their best to stay hydrated and cool, but the heat got the best of the team by 1:30pm. While most of the team headed home, a handful of determined hawkwatchers stuck out the last two hours of counting. It was another great Broadwing day and a Ferrug even stopped by in the afternoon. At 3:30pm closing time, a female Kestrel glided by to be the final bird on the count and remind us that our extra efforts were worth the heat.

Total Sightings: 503
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 83.83
Total Species: 12

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 79
Osprey: 3
Northern Harrier: 9
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 167
Cooper's Hawk: 67
Red-shouldered Hawk: 7
Broad-winged Hawk: 63
Red-tailed Hawk: 64
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 6
Merlin: 5
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 25
Buteo: 2
Raptor: 2

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, September 17, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Violet

Broadwings galore! Within seconds of setting up on the Hill this morning we were counting a kettle of Broad-winged Hawks. We were all very excited to see these migrants from various angles and distances. It was also another great day for accipiters, particularly Sharpies. Now is an excellent time to get up to Hawk Hill and brush up those accipiter ID skills! Hope to have another clear day of hawkwatching tomorrow (and maybe even more species)!

Total Sightings: 577
Hours Counted: 5
HPH: 115.4
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 80
Osprey: 2
Northern Harrier: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 200
Cooper's Hawk: 72
Red-shouldered Hawk: 4
Broad-winged Hawk: 52
Red-tailed Hawk: 111
American Kestrel: 3
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 28
Buteo: 10
Raptor: 10

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, September 16, 2016  
Posted by: Violet & Emily

It was a Sharpie, Sharpie, Broadwing kind of a day! We began our count around 11am after the fog cleared, and the Sharpies never stopped popping up in front of our faces. The accipiters have started to pile in; we counted 209 Sharpies and 87 Coops. In the mix were 11 Broad-winged Hawks, some of them wonderfully close to the top of the hill. Other notables were 2 Ferruginous, 5 Northern Harriers, 9 Redshoulders, and 3 Merlins. We broke 550 sightings, and the Sharpies continued to pop up in front of us, even after we closed the count. The floodgates have opened!!

Total Sightings: 570
Hours Counted: 4.67
HPH: 122.06
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 54
Northern Harrier: 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 209
Cooper's Hawk: 87
Red-shouldered Hawk: 9
Broad-winged Hawk: 11
Red-tailed Hawk: 154
Ferruginous Hawk: 2
American Kestrel: 1
Merlin: 3
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 23
Buteo: 7
Falcon: 3
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, September 15, 2016  
Posted by: Chase and Emily

After yesterday's successful hawk-filled day, the Fog Gods growled with jealousy. As a consequence, the oozing white clouds poured into the Marin Headlands with a swift and angry force. Poor Thursday I team, we didn't stand a chance. However, a brisk walk around the lagoon and a Pectoral Sandpiper convinced us to pop up to Conzelman Road for some raptor viewing. Lucky for us, 9 different species soared by! This included: several Merlins, Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks, Peregrine Falcons, American Kestrels, Red-tailed Hawks, an Osprey, a Northern Harrier, and, of course, many Turkey Vultures.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016  
Posted by: Robert Heim

Apologies for the delayed post! We had some server issues yesterday.

It was an awesome day for the Wednesday 1 team. With temperatures in the low 70's and a light breeze from the west, conditions were great for watching raptors. A total of 77 Sharp-shinned and 41 Cooper's Hawks passed through, so the team had plenty of opportunities to practice accipiter identification. Many of the accipiters were flying high overhead, causing the Hawkwatchers to develop achy necks as they aimed their binoculars directly above. Such discomfort was quickly forgotten, however, as birds continued moving through in good numbers. A total of 10 Northern Harriers were seen, including an adult female and a juvenile in the same frame. There were also 8 Merlins and 1 Ferruginous Hawk!

Total Sightings: 395
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 65.83
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 77
Osprey: 3
Northern Harrier: 10
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 77
Cooper's Hawk: 41
Red-shouldered Hawk: 7
Red-tailed Hawk: 145
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 12
Merlin: 8

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 7
Buteo: 6
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel

Hawkwatchers got back on the Hill for a full day of counting after several days of fog. Winds were low, the sun was shining, and 11 species were documented. The first Broad-winged Hawk of the season made its appearance high in the clouds over Angel Island and crossed the bay before going completely out of view. A beautiful bird that did not make the count today, but was seen just as we loaded in our cars this afternoon was a juvenile Ferruginous Hawk. We'll get it next time!

Total Sightings: 176
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 29.33
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 35
Osprey: 2
Northern Harrier: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 20
Cooper's Hawk: 13
Red-shouldered Hawk: 4
Broad-winged Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 90
American Kestrel: 2
Merlin: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1
Buteo: 3

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, September 12, 2016  
Posted by: Robert

When the Monday 1 team arrived on Hawk Hill this morning, there was cloud cover overhead but decent visibility. Unfortunately, the hawkwatching conditions quickly deteriorated. A thick blanket of fog rolled in from the west, causing the team to call it a day around noon. Although the team was only out for two hours, seven different raptor species were observed. A highlight bird was a juvenile Red-Shouldered Hawk, which showed all the Hawkwatchers its wing crescents as it soared into the dense fog.

Total Sightings: 23
Hours Counted: 2.25
HPH: 10.22
Total Species: 7

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 9
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 1
Red-shouldered Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 9
American Kestrel: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, September 11, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Violet

Another fogged out day. We took a walk around Rodeo Lagoon and saw a few exciting non-raptor species: a Spotted Sandpiper, a Red-necked Phalarope, Yellow Warblers, and Common Yellowthroats. The fog never cleared on Hawk Hill, but we traveled up anyway to engage any visitors and watch our banding docent release a magnificent male American Kestrel. Just a reminder, Hawk Talks are held on clear weekends from noon to 1pm in September and October. Following Hawk Talks, a banding docent will release a live raptor and be available for questions. Hope to see you on the Hill!

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, September 10, 2016  
Posted by: Violet Kimzey & Isabel Lawrence

Fog-ku

Cold gray cloud covers
the Hill. Hawk watchers retreat,
but docents still meet.


Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, September 09, 2016  
Posted by: Emily and Chase

Once upon a time there were two interns. They started their season with high hopes of raptors cruising across Hawk Hill. But their days were darkened by the ever oppressive fog. Try as they might, the interns' attempts to get to the hill were thwarted time and time again by the evil fog! But they knew that somewhere out there, the birds were flying. And when that fog-less day arrives, the two interns will watch hawks to their hearts' content and live happily ever after.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, September 08, 2016  
Posted by: Emily and Robert

The fog finally lifted... for an hour! We got up to the hill and enjoyed some visibility briefly. Not a full count today, but great practice keeping track of Red-tails and Turkey Vultures as they moved in and out of the fog around the hill. We saw a few Cooper's hawks on Conzelman while waiting for the fog to clear, but they never popped up once the count officially started... those sneaky Accipiters!! There are sunny days ahead for Thursday II and many birds to come... These are some dedicated hawk watchers!

Total Sightings: 25
Hours Counted: 1
HPH: 25
Total Species: 2

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 11
Red-tailed Hawk: 13

Unidentified...
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016  
Posted by: Chase Violet and Robert

This Wednesday Hawkwatch team brought the heat. Quite literally. Slathering sunscreen and sporting fashionable brimmed hats, the Wednesday II crew scanned the skies while the temperature increased, hitting 95F around 1 pm.

The morning was bountiful for dragonflies. While hawks seemed to be lacking, Blue-eyed Darners, Green Darners, Black Sadddlebags, and Variegated Meadowhawks zoomed around Hawk Hill. But as the day wore on, Redtails and Turkey Vultures appeared. A few Coops powered through, giving the hawk watchers a run for their money, and a female American Kestrel even showed us her tiger stripe tail. An Osprey made the list and a tiny buteo from far away revealed wing crescents (among other clues) and became our Red-shouldered Juvenile.

Therefore, another productive but sweaty day on Hawk Hill has passed.

Total Sightings: 190
Hours Counted: 5.5
HPH: 34.55
Total Species: 8

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 91
Osprey: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 6
Red-shouldered Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 86
American Kestrel: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1
Falcon: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016  
Posted by: Emily and Robert

Sorry for the technical difficulties, folks! Yesterday was one of the warmest days on the hill yet; we got up to 80 degrees. Our highlights were the Osprey, early morning Red-shouldered hawks, and of course the lone Ferruginous hawk. The team got practice in identifying Sharpies and Coops, as well as telling male and female kestrels apart as they hover and zip by. We also kept track of the insects and passerine species on the hill. There were a number of blue-grey gnatcatchers, 2 Say's phoebes, and a mix of Vaux's and black swifts. We counted six species of dragonfly and four species of butterfly moving through... what a great day!

Total Sightings: 198
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 33
Total Species: 8

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 83
Osprey: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 4
Cooper's Hawk: 9
Red-shouldered Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 83
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 9

Unidentified...
Raptor: 4

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, September 05, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Chase

Monday-ku

Foggy then sunny
Osprey, Coop, Sharp, Red-tail hawks
Flying, soaring, high



Total Sightings: 240
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 40
Total Species: 6

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 94
Osprey: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 22
Red-tailed Hawk: 113
American Kestrel: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1
Raptor: 4

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, September 04, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel

I think today we could finally say with confidence that raptor migration is happening in the Headlands! We had a really great hawkwatch crew today and a variety of raptors to accompany us. We saw 11 species, including the first Merlin of the season and a fantastically white Ferruginous Hawk! Our American Kestrel count was the highest so far this season at 19 sightings. On our non-raptor count, the most exciting species were Violet-green Swallows and Black Swifts. Visibility and temperatures were great all day. Can't wait to get back on the Hill tomorrow!

Total Sightings: 411
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 68.5
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 160
Osprey: 5
Northern Harrier: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 4
Cooper's Hawk: 12
Red-shouldered Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 194
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 19
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 4
Buteo: 1
Raptor: 3

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, September 03, 2016  
Posted by: Violet Kimzey & Isabel Lawrence

We were anticipating another exciting day of hawk watching, but the fickle weather decided otherwise. We counted for 3.5 hours as the fog danced between leaving and staying. After nearly an hour of only Turkey Vultures and 1 Redtail, a pair of bright American Kestrels flitted past. A few Osprey sightings broke up the slow count of mostly Redtails and TVs after that. The fog looked like it would break, but it ended up coming in thicker with a strong, gusty wind. The team called it quits at 1:30. Isn't Fogust supposed to end when September begins? We'll see what happens tomorrow!

Total Sightings: 77
Hours Counted: 3.5
HPH: 22
Total Species: 6

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 48
Osprey: 3
Cooper's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 14
American Kestrel: 6
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1
Raptor: 3

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, September 02, 2016  
Posted by: Emily and Violet

What a great day it was to be out on Hawk Hill! The weather was perfect and the hawks were flying. We had a big team today and counted the most birds this season so far: 229. Around noon we got a very exciting bird: Ferruginous Hawk!! We almost had a four falcon day; we had the first Prairie Falcon of the season hunting down on the northwest side of the hill!! Unfortunately the Merlins have not arrived yet, but we're ready when they are. Not 30 minutes after the Prairie Falcon, ANOTHER Ferruginous Hawk made an appearance. Looks like the birds are loving the lack of fog as much as we are!

Total Sightings: 229
Hours Counted: 5.5
HPH: 41.64
Total Species: 9

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 119
Osprey: 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 4
Red-tailed Hawk: 86
Ferruginous Hawk: 2
American Kestrel: 5
Peregrine Falcon: 3
Prairie Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Buteo: 1
Raptor: 3

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, September 01, 2016  
Posted by: Emily and Chase

As we add another tally to the season's list of fogged-out days, I'm beginning to think that it's something I've said. Did I create this abundance of foggy days through my optimistic Hawk Hill dreams? Did I perhaps admire the mystery and the beauty of the fog as it crept over the land a little too much?

Despite these musings about the nature of fog, the Thursday I crew trekked around on a few of the trails around the Headlands. We spotted some Redtails, a Turkey Vulture or two, and even a female American Kestrel. Additionally, we saw an assortment of towhees, finches, and a surprise Belted Kingfisher by the lagoon.

Tonight, I'll dream of fog, and maybe that will appease its fickle nature.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016  
Posted by: Robert

With 187 birds and 9 different species seen, it was a solid first day on the Hill for the Wednesday 1 team this season. Just after starting time, we were impressed by the agility of a Northern Harrier as it interacted with a Cooper's Hawk that came a bit too close for comfort. As the wind picked up in the afternoon, our Accipiter identification skills were put to the test. We found a useful distinguishing trait to be the ability of Cooper's Hawk to remain more steady in flight than a Sharp-Shinned Hawk. Late in the day, two juvenile peregrine falcon flybys kept the team engaged and excited!

Total Sightings: 187
Hours Counted: 5.5
HPH: 34
Total Species: 9

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 67
Osprey: 1
Northern Harrier: 6
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 8
Red-shouldered Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 89
American Kestrel: 8
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 2
Buteo: 1
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Chase

It was a beautiful sunny day on the Hill. A few accipiters flew over today and it was entertaining to listen to experienced hawkwatchers argue over their species. Everyone got a different angle on the accipiters, which makes ID tricky. The one Cooper's Hawk today showed me its classic, elongated Coop shape by flying directly overhead. For others, all they saw were the Coop's unsteady flapping and pushed-forward "wrists," appearing Sharpie-like instead. The great accipiter debate will go on throughout the season, but these friendly arguments are always welcome on Hawk Hill. Thanks for reading and happy hawkwatching!

Total Sightings: 127
Hours Counted: 5.75
HPH: 22.09
Total Species: 7

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 70
Northern Harrier: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 2
Cooper's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 46
American Kestrel: 4
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, August 29, 2016  
Posted by: Robert

Second day in a row of great visibility from Hawk Hill! Early on, the Monday 1 team watched a juvenile Bald Eagle soar effortless among a few Turkey Vultures. This spectacle set the tone for a great day, during which a total of ten different species were recorded. Red-shouldered Hawks were spotted for the first time this season, and a considerable number of Osprey were seen. Activity seemed to slow in the mid-afternoon as the winds picked up, but skies remained clear. We look forward to more exciting days as September quickly approaches.

Total Sightings: 151
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 25.17
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 52
Osprey: 8
Bald Eagle: 1
Northern Harrier: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 7
Cooper's Hawk: 15
Red-shouldered Hawk: 14
Red-tailed Hawk: 43
American Kestrel: 3
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Buteo: 5

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, August 28, 2016  
Posted by: Violet & Isabel

Today was a 9-species day on Hawk Hill! Within the first 45 minutes we deviated from our usual Redtails and Turkey Vultures with our first Northern Harrier of the season. We saw more Cooper's Hawks than the last few days and finally spotted a couple of Sharpies. The real treat of the day happened around 1pm when somebody loudly exclaimed "SWAINSON'S HAWK!!!" We identified the Swainie as a dark morph juvenile and were overjoyed at the uncommon sighting for the Marin Headlands. It was an exciting, sunny day for the hawkwatchers!

Total Sightings: 203
Hours Counted: 5
HPH: 40.6
Total Species: 9

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 68
Osprey: 2
Northern Harrier: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 2
Cooper's Hawk: 14
Swainson's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 107
American Kestrel: 3
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Buteo: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, August 27, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Violet

Hooray for a clear day on Hawk Hill! We had high fog all day, giving hawkwatchers a complete 360 degree view from the Hill. There was a steady count of Red-tailed Hawks and Turkey Vultures throughout the day, but an Osprey, a Peregrine Falcon, and a Cooper's Hawk were also seen. Among the 45 juvenile Red-tailed Hawks counted today, one was a dark morph! During the slow moments of the day, we shared chocolate and identified 6 American Lady butterflies in the bushes. It was great to have a full day of hawkwatching!

Total Sightings: 179
Hours Counted: 5
HPH: 35.8
Total Species: 5

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 102
Osprey: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 74
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, August 26, 2016  
Posted by: Chase

"Finally!" I gasped as I reached the summit of Hawk Hill. Having been plagued by multiple days of white-out fog, my little intern heart soared at the chance to see some hawks. Today was my first official day of counting.

The fog continued to obscure many (if not most) of the landmarks and certain quadrants were less than ideal, however, Friday II managed to see not one, not two, but ten Turkey Vultures. We passed them back and forth a few times, giving our voices a chance to practice the Hill's volume control. It was a very special day for us all, finishing with a 50th birthday celebration!


Total Sightings: 10
Hours Counted: 2.25
HPH: 4.44
Total Species: 1

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 10

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, August 25, 2016  
Posted by: Emily

Fogged out again! But the Thursday II team is stronger than ever with 12 volunteers, two interns, and our fearless leader, Step. We spent the morning having some great discussions about raptor identification and learning from slides versus in the field. Later in the afternoon, we did make it out to Conzelman road and saw turkey vultures and red-tailed hawks... plus an adorable raven couple preening each other!

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016  
Posted by: Robert and Chase

Twas another foggy day on Hawk Hill. However, after an invigorating Raptor ID quiz, the hawkwatchers were galvanized to head to Conzelman Road. While Turkey Vultures wobbled their way across the sky, many sets of skilled eyes spotted a few Redtails. One adult Redtail even perched on a nearby rock, giving the avid watchers something to point their scope at. The highlight of the day was seeing a lone accipiter flap/glide across the landscape. A Cooper's Hawk was the general consensus. Although the sun peeked through the fog below, the Hill continued to be lost in white. Hopefully tomorrow will be luckier, but the Wednesday II crew still had a good day watching raptors!

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016  
Posted by: Emily

Our day started with a welcome from a red-tailed hawk stilling over the path up the hill. The whole team stopped and watched the local red-tail hovering into the wind for about five minutes... we didn't realize that was a good omen for the day! We saw plenty of red-tailed hawks today, and, of course, a good amount of turkey vultures. Our highlights were the peregrine falcon on the Golden Gate Bridge and a juvenile Cooper's hawk perched on the hill. The fog came back to show us who's boss around three, so we ended the day a few minutes early... 12 raptors per hour and good visibility for Tuesday 2!

Total Sightings: 36
Hours Counted: 3
HPH: 12
Total Species: 4

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 16
Cooper's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 18
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, August 22, 2016  
Posted by: Chase and Isabel

Today's Hawkwatch was cancelled once again due to--you guessed it--fog. However, we took our small team up to Hawk Hill to get a feel for the quadrant system. We also enjoyed lunch amidst the fog, getting to know one another, and even identifying a couple juvenile Red-tailed hawks floating around. With two new hawkwatchers on the team, I think the most valuable discussion we had today was not to feel insecure about your individual hawk ID skills. The important thing is that everyone is doing their part to spot raptors, get help from experienced hawkwatchers, and contribute to the overall accuracy of GGRO Hawkwatch data.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, August 21, 2016  
Posted by: Violet

After a long, foggy first week, the Hawkwatch team was finally able to count some raptors!!! We counted from 11:15am to 3pm, and had a total of 69 sightings. As the fog rolled in and out, we saw mostly Red-tailed Hawks and Turkey Vultures, with a couple of American Kestrels and Peregrine Falcons in the mix. Towards the end, 28mph winds were blowing the fog back into our faces, so we left the hill half an hour early. It was great to break the fog streak and finally count some hawks from Hawk Hill!

Total Sightings: 69
Hours Counted: 3.75
HPH: 18.4
Total Species: 5

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 30
Osprey: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 33
American Kestrel: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, August 20, 2016  
Posted by: Violet

Another mostly foggy day out on Hawk Hill! It was clear enough for the team to go up to the hill to practice naming a few landmarks and taking weather data, but not clear enough to officially count anything. Around 1pm, we drove down to the old rifle range on Bunker Road and spotted a juvenile Cooper's hawk, two turkey vultures and quite a few adult red-tailed hawks stilling in the wind. No data, but still a fun day for the team!

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, August 19, 2016  
Posted by: Violet

We were hopeful that today would look differently than the last four, but unfortunately it did not. The fog almost lifted enough for us to count from Hawk Hill, but it stubbornly stayed too low. We saw the usual resident red-tailed hawks and a handful of turkey vultures from Conzelman Road, and a few of the team spotted a Cooper's hawk near the GGRO office. Maybe tomorrow will be different!

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, August 18, 2016  
Posted by: Emily

Sorry this entry is a day late... we were fogged out and forgot to let you all know! We did not count any birds, but did do some practice hawk watching down Conzelman road by the bridge. We saw the resident red-tailed hawks, a couple of turkey vultures, and an osprey on our walk around the lagoon.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016  
Posted by: Violet

Hawk Hill was fogged out for a THIRD day! We spent time along Conzelman Road and spotted a few Red-tailed Hawks, a handful of Turkey Vultures, and a beautiful Northern Flicker, but did not count any of the raptors. The team had a nice time birding and eating homemade macaroons. Hopefully the fog will lift for tomorrow's count!

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Chase

Unfortunately, Hawk Hill was fogged out on the second day of the season. This did not deter us from birding! We tramped around the Rodeo Lagoon and saw a Snowy Egret, Great Egret, and Great Blue Heron all in one scope view. We also spied a few dorsal fins on the horizon, which happened to be dolphins. All in all, not a lost day in the Marin Headlands.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, August 15, 2016  
Posted by: Robert

Welcome to the 2016 fall migration season at the GGRO! Overcast skies on the first day allowed for the Monday 1 team to take its time getting up to Hawk Hill. After an informative meeting with GGRO staff and a quick raptor ID quiz, the team headed to the Annex. A slight break in the fog prompted the optimistic Hawkwatchers to quickly leave the Annex for the Hill. Over the period of an hour, we counted three Turkey Vultures and two Red-Tailed Hawks. Aging of the Red-Tailed Hawks proved difficult due to the foggy conditions. While it was a relatively slow first day, the Monday 1 Hawkwatchers felt fortunate to be spending their day in the Headlands with fellow wildlife enthusiasts. We look forward to the season ahead!

Total Sightings: 5
Hours Counted: 1.25
HPH: 4
Total Species: 2

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 2

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Step Wilson at swilson@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.


Contact Information

Hawkwatch Hotline
(415) 561-3030 (ext. 2500)