For online updates, follow Hawkcount on Twitter or "like" Golden Gate Raptor Observatory on Facebook, or call the Hawkwatch Hotline (415) 561-3030, ext 2500.

Subscribe to our RSS Feed and see our report summaries.


Thursday, November 27, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Bradshaw and Matt Delgado

Birds, birds, everywhere and not a bird to eat? Perhaps not a raptor to eat. However, there be not one, but TWO turkeys for our GGRO Thanksgiving feast. The live bird tally for today far exceeded our turkey count—by 111 times, in fact. The day was warm and windless, with a thick haze falling over the bay and ocean. We climbed the hill with three pies and fresh Dungeness crab in hand, and came down with our load considerably lightened. Birds were mostly in distant kettles and were mostly Red-tailed Hawks. A few accipiters and a Merlin zipped below us around the curve of the hill, but otherwise the majority of our birds were out over the Slacker hills, Mt. Tam, and Hill 88. We were lucky enough to have a chocolatey-brown dark morph juvenile Red-tailed Hawk as one of our study birds, which immediately went and perched below the north platform. In summary, today was a good day with good food and good people and birds were the whipped cream on top of the pie. Thanksgiving metaphors, away! Happy Turkey Day, raptor enthusiasts!

Total Sightings: 222
Hours Counted: 5.75
HPH: 38.61
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 68
White-tailed Kite: 3
Northern Harrier: 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 11
Cooper's Hawk: 2
Red-shouldered Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 115
American Kestrel: 6
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 1

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014  
Posted by: Phoebe Parker-Shames and Kris Vanesky

Today was a great sendoff for what has arguably been the season’s luckiest hawk watch team. The day started off with a pair of adult Peregrines dive-bombing on a group of Pine Siskins. The majority of birds for the day still consisted of Turkey Vultures and Red-tailed Hawks, but we also saw a bunch of Northern Harriers and American Kestrels. The biggest highlight of the day was a juvenile Ferruginous Hawk that swooped in from Kirby Cove and made a tour of the hills. We had a wonderful time sharing snacks, enjoying the pizza that was our reward for spotting the Rough-legged Hawk last time we were out, and explaining migration patterns to all of the pre-Thanksgiving visitors on the hill.

Thanks for an exciting season full of beautiful days, high numbers, unusual birds, and lots of enthusiastic teaching and learning, Wednesday I!


Total Sightings: 165
Hours Counted: 5.5
HPH: 30
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 68
Osprey: 1
Northern Harrier: 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 5
Red-shouldered Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 67
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 7
Merlin: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 3

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014  
Posted by: Matt and Kate

We had a blustery day up on the hill. Although the birds were few the fancy cheeses and baked goods brought by the hawkwatchers were many. Our highlights of the day were a male kestrel and a harrier, which might give you an idea of how slow it has been (but really it was SLOW). Hopefully Wednesday will pick up an exciting bird tomorrow...maybe of the feathered tarsi variety.

Total Sightings: 134
Hours Counted: 5.33
HPH: 25.14
Total Species: 8

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 62
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 2
Cooper's Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 60
American Kestrel: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, November 24, 2014  
Posted by: Killer B and Matt D

While it was a pretty slow day on the hill, we had lots of joy and food. The weather was nice and calm, but started to warm up around the afternoon. We saw lots and lots of red-tails, but we also saw the "bridge" peregrine falcons claiming their territory and run off every bird that decided to cross the Golden Gate Bridge.
Good times, good birds, and good food made for a great season with the Mon I group.

We will miss you Mon I

Total Sightings: 222
Hours Counted: 5.5
HPH: 40.36
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 74
Osprey: 1
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 12
Cooper's Hawk: 5
Red-shouldered Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 116
American Kestrel: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 5

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, November 23, 2014  
Posted by: Kate and Bridget

Today was a day that started just like any other. We met for a morning meeting while another intern and I rambled about something or another ( just kidding it was a riveting talk on Rough-legged hawks). However, early in the morning we realized that today was indeed very special. Today we saw not one, not two, but three Broad-winged hawks! We also had a few oddly late Osprey sightings as well, including a beautiful bird that flew right over us. So although we did not see the Rough-legged hawk that we all yearned for, today was indeed something to behold.

Total Sightings: 266
Hours Counted: 6.0
HPH: 44.33
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 100
Osprey: 3
White-tailed Kite: 2
Northern Harrier: 8
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 6
Cooper's Hawk: 8
Red-shouldered Hawk: 7
Broad-winged Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 111
American Kestrel: 3
Peregrine Falcon: 5

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 3
Buteo: 7

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, November 22, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget and Phoebe

After waking to torrential, sideways rain this morning we came to work fully prepared to be rained out. We lazed around, ate cookies, and had a leisurely powerpoint presentation. Lo an behold when we opened the shades we were blinded by unexpected sunlight! So we hurredly scrambled up to the hill to find the birds already circling. A juvenile Northern Harrier and a handful of Red-tailed Hawks cruised around while we set up camp and began the count. Early morning Peregrine Falcon fly-bys made things exciting. There was much Red-tailed Hawk attacking to be had. While things slowed considerably by the end of the day, we had our sixth species (Merlin!) zip by below the north platform thus enabling us to go out with a bang. What a lovely day to come from such a tumultuous beginning!

Total Sightings: 234
Hours Counted: 4.75
HPH: 49.26
Total Species: 6

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 93
Northern Harrier: 5
Red-tailed Hawk: 118
American Kestrel: 4
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 8

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, November 21, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Bradshaw

If omens were real, today would have been a fabulous buteo day. Before we had even reached the summit of Hawk Hill, we found we had been beaten to it by a massive juvenile Ferruginous Hawk. It made some lazy circles over the bay and hung around for a good 10 minutes while we all took our respective ganders. We then settled into preparing for a jawdropping day spilling over with raptors. This quieted gradually into a day of looking hopefully into an empty sky. We were able to pick up a Red-shouldered Hawk, an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk and a few close Red-tails to curb the hunger, but these petered off and by 1:00 there were barely Turkey Vultures even on the ridges. We are at least proud to say that we positively ID'd all of the raptors that we saw (i.e., no unidentified raptors). The sky was overcast and everything had a wintery cast which made it beautiful albeit cold. We looked over our shoulders as we left, wondering if we were going to miss that one Rough-legged Hawk that waited until 3:35 to fly over the hill, but saw nothing. Now it's time to put our hands under hot water, make some cocoa, and prepare for the next wave of rain.

Total Sightings: 96
Hours Counted: 5.5
HPH: 17.45
Total Species: 7

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 53
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 3
Red-shouldered Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 34
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, November 20, 2014  
Posted by: Phoebe Parker-Shames and Bridget Bradshaw and Kris Vanesky

It was still raining today, so we didn't get up to Hawk Hill to do a raptor count; instead, we took a short walk around the lagoon until we got too soaked to continue. Despite a distinct lack of quadrants, we still managed to keep a list of species from the walk:

Northern Shoveler
Bufflehead
Hooded Merganser
Eared Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Brown Pelican
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
American Coot
Killdeer
Least Sandpiper
Bonaparte's Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Western Gull
Black Phoebe
Common Raven
Bewick's Wren
European Starling
Common Yellowthroat
Spotted Towhee
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
House Finch

It is also worth noting that we heard frogs, and saw snails, bottlenose dolphins, and very wet beachgoers.


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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014  
Posted by: Kate and Matt

Today's Hawkwatch team was not able to make it up on the hill today due to the weather, which was cold and wet. However, we did manage to thoroughly re-educate ourselves on how to identify rough-legged hawks and other sparsely seen raptors.
Good luck out there Thur II,
Wed II out

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014  
Posted by: Kris Vanesky and Phoebe Parker-Shames

Though it was a chilly day with low numbers of raptors, the Tuesday II Crew huddled together on the hill for some great hawk watching. We were visited by an adorable Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and got a close up view of an adult Red-tailed hawk as he stooped down a few feet by our faces. We also saw a juvenile Bald Eagle flying across the bay, but it decided to come back to the Headlands for a longer stay. Even the calm bay waters awarded us with a beautiful view of a Humpbacked whale.

Overall, it was a great day, with crisp fall air. Good luck tomorrow Wednesday II. Don't forget your sunscreen and your umbrellas.



Total Sightings: 204
Hours Counted: 5.75
HPH: 35.65
Total Species: 8

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 79
Bald Eagle: 1
Northern Harrier: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 8
Cooper's Hawk: 7
Red-tailed Hawk: 91
American Kestrel: 3
Peregrine Falcon: 2

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, November 17, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget and Kate

Today there were birds-then there were not.
Today we were cold- and then we were hot.
We saw many red-tails and a few accipiters too,
We gazed at some Peregrines and how they flew.

For a Rough-legged hawk we yearned in vain,
Not even a male kestrel could soothe our pain.
Humpback whales were around without rhyme or reason,
we hope our cetaceans stay until the end of season.


Total Sightings: 332
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 55.33
Total Species: 9

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 78
Northern Harrier: 6
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 19
Cooper's Hawk: 5
Red-shouldered Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 199
American Kestrel: 6
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 6

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 4
Buteo: 4
Falcon: 2
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, November 16, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget and Matt

There are days when human perseverance and camaraderie triumph over challenging circumstances. Today was such a day. It's was also Ken's birthday. There were cupcakes. There were also thousands upon thousands of American Robins (mixed with Varied Thrushes), all headed mysteriously northward. Has anyone else noticed this? Is it a sign of impending apocalypse?

The wind out of the east and northeast was chilly and failed to bring us the birds for which we yearned. So we bundled and un-bundled as the wind waxed and waned, and scanned the ridge lines feverishly.

"Gull or raptor? Wait...it's a gull. Definitely gull."
"Hold on, what's that falcon coming off Tam?"
"It's a gull."

Yeah, it was one of those days.

High Red-tailed hawks were the bulk of our sightings, supplemented by the occasional accipiter or Merlin.

Perhaps the most exciting bird was a Short-eared Owl with its deep, loping wingbeats headed towards Golden Gate Park, and later another over North Slacker. It would seem that Hawk Hill isn't just for the diurnal raptors anymore.

So everyone get ready for what might be the actual onset of fall and chilly weather. Shove some gloves into your pack! Bring your Big-Gulp-sized thermos! If you have a body-suit windbreaker, this is the time to put it to use!

Total Sightings: 291
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 48.5
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 127
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 9
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 20
Cooper's Hawk: 2
Red-shouldered Hawk: 7
Red-tailed Hawk: 103
Golden Eagle: 1
American Kestrel: 5
Merlin: 3
Peregrine Falcon: 4

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, November 15, 2014  
Posted by: Kris Vanesky and Bridget Bradshaw

It was a gorgeous, sunny day up on the hill. We persisted despite not having our fearless leader, Mr. Power. Everyone pulled together to count the ever impressive number of redtails. Some highlights of the day included a great look at an adult Peregrine flying over us and a pretty personal look at a Ferruginous Hawk. We also got a great look at a late coming Swainson's Hawk. Overall it was a beautiful day with great diversity. Good luck Sunday I, don't forget your sunscreen and your sandals (with thick socks, just incase.)

Total Sightings: 350
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 58.33
Total Species: 12

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 115
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 10
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 17
Cooper's Hawk: 8
Red-shouldered Hawk: 7
Swainson's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 164
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 3
Merlin: 5
Peregrine Falcon: 10

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 2
Buteo: 6

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, November 14, 2014  
Posted by: Phoebe Parker-Shames

I can’t say I was expecting much for the day after the rains, but we ended up with a good number of birds for this point in the season. There wasn’t a huge variety of birds out today, but we are absolutely in the second Red-tailed Hawk peak. Some of the highlights of the day: A juvenile Northern Harrier and a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk chasing each other back and forth across the sky, some eye-catchingly bright adult Red-Shouldered Hawks that soared over Kirby Cove, an adult Red-tailed Hawk that decided to still right off the platform of Hawk Hill for nearly an hour, and the resident pair of adult Peregrines calling to each other as they sped by overhead. Overall, a very solid day. Hopefully the numbers will stay up and some more species will join the party. The weather is slowly edging its way towards the chilly side, so bring layers.

Total Sightings: 338
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 56.33
Total Species: 9

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 76
Northern Harrier: 14
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 35
Cooper's Hawk: 7
Red-shouldered Hawk: 6
Red-tailed Hawk: 179
American Kestrel: 2
Merlin: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 7

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 7
Buteo: 1
Falcon: 2

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, November 13, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Kate and Matt

After drizzling in the headlands all night, the rain showed no motivation to leave and sat low in the valley all day. But what better opportunity for a Thursday I bonding session than a rainy morning? We took a field trip to the Marine Mammal Center for some non-raptor education and then went on Newtwatch 2014. While we only technically had two newt sightings, our walk also included some wet Red-tailed hawks, Red-shouldered hawks, a juvenile Northern Harrier and a female American kestrel. Additionally, there were some mysterious reptilian eggs (?), a den with honeycomb outside, and a 5-legged Jerusalem cricket. Ah, the wonders of nature! Now for some soup!

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014  
Posted by: Phoebe Parker-Shames and Kris Vanesky

Despite worries that late-day rains would make today a slow Hawkwatch, it ended up being an incredible day. Early on in the day we saw two adult Peregrines interacting with a raven, and we had a steady stream of male American Kestrels all day. However, the biggest jolt of excitement came when the Rough-legged Hawk finally arrived. It was a spectacularly dark bird, resembling more of a Turkey-Vulture with a Buteo head than a normal Rough-legged, but it flew around the entire hill and gave us all a look (albeit a slightly far and awkwardly-angled one). As if that were not enough, we also got to see a beautiful juvenile Ferruginous Hawk fly high overhead and show off its bright white underside. But wait, there’s more! As the sunlight ebbed at the end of the day, we saw a very light bird with long, heavy wingbeats flying over the hills. A closer look revealed a flattened face and orange belly— a Short-eared Owl! It flew around and fought with some ravens before drifting away towards Sausalito.

Total Sightings: 234
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 39
Total Species: 12

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 90
White-tailed Kite: 2
Northern Harrier: 11
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 8
Cooper's Hawk: 2
Red-shouldered Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 97
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
Rough-legged Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 11
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 3

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014  
Posted by: Kate and Matt

Today began with some ominous, dark clouds. Sadly, these clouds did not rain falcons and buteos down upon us. Overall we had a slow day up on the hill, punctuated by some Peregrine falcon excitement. Towards the end of the day we even had a brief visit from the sun, with some very "heavenly" rays of sunlight reaching through the clouds onto the ocean.

Total Sightings: 245
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 40.83
Total Species: 9

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 132
White-tailed Kite: 2
Northern Harrier: 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 9
Cooper's Hawk: 4
Red-shouldered Hawk: 5
Red-tailed Hawk: 69
American Kestrel: 5
Peregrine Falcon: 12

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 2
Buteo: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, November 10, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Bradshaw and Matthew Delgato

Fogged out!
-Mon I

Total Sightings: 12
Hours Counted: 2
HPH: 6
Total Species: 4

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 6
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 1

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, November 09, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget and Kate

Today began with a low inversion layer of fog straddling the hill sides. Quickly, however, the day heated up in temperature- but sadly not in hawk numbers. Despite the slow trickle of birds from the raptor faucet a few Peregrine falcons still "dropped" by. By about 2 we had been engulfed by the fog and decided to call it a day, catching a glimpse of that last minute merlin.

Total Sightings: 195
Hours Counted: 4.5
HPH: 43.33
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 70
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 6
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 32
Cooper's Hawk: 9
Red-shouldered Hawk: 5
Broad-winged Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 45
American Kestrel: 5
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 11
Buteo: 1
Raptor: 5

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, November 08, 2014  
Posted by: Phoebe Parker-Shames and Bridget Bradshaw

The second Red-tailed Hawk migration peak that happens later in the season is in full swing now, and we are seeing a wide range of the color patterns that crop up within this species. We had a nice diversity of raptors, and even the Turkey Vultures were really moving on this sunny and clear day. The highlights for the day included good views of both Bald and Golden Eagles, a high-flying White-tailed Kite, and a light-colored Peregrine Falcon. We also got to see two Humpbacked Whales far below us at the gate of Bay. We’re enjoying the relatively high numbers this late in the season. The winds were out of the North-East, and it looks like we could be gearing up for another nice week. Make sure to bring lots of sunscreen, however, since it is still unseasonably warm.

Total Sightings: 382
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 63.67
Total Species: 12

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 128
White-tailed Kite: 3
Bald Eagle: 1
Northern Harrier: 14
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 47
Cooper's Hawk: 13
Red-shouldered Hawk: 7
Red-tailed Hawk: 140
Golden Eagle: 2
American Kestrel: 3
Merlin: 5
Peregrine Falcon: 4

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 7
Buteo: 2
Falcon: 1
Raptor: 5

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, November 07, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Bradshaw

Fog blog, 2014. We could see around 56% of our surroundings at any given time today. Given this, our count turned out nicely! We had a short parade of Red-tailed hawks slide over the hill early in the day in the precious bit of blue sky above us, but from then on out they tended to be distant, foggy, blobby buteos. We had a Sharp-shinned hawk that turned into a Merlin half-way over the Golden Gate Bridge. Great silhouette work, everyone! A late day Peregrine put us in the 3-falcon range and was a lovely parting view from the hill. I think we were all hoping for another 15 species, 500 bird day. Alas, the winds were not in our favor (specifically in that there was no wind). But oh, to be serenaded by fog horns!

Total Sightings: 121
Hours Counted: 5
HPH: 24.2
Total Species: 9

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 27
Northern Harrier: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 18
Cooper's Hawk: 6
Red-shouldered Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 54
American Kestrel: 2
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 3
Buteo: 6

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, November 06, 2014  
Posted by: Phoebe Parker-Shames and Bridget Bradshaw and Kris Vanesky

Today was a little hazy and windless, but we had a reasonable number of raptors nonetheless. We saw a lot of adult accipiters and some good sightings of red-shouldered hawks. Today’s highlight was a beautiful juvenile Bald Eagle that flew right over the hill. Alas, the Rough-leg is still elusive. The weather has been somewhat warm, so make sure to bring sunscreen and light layers.

Total Sightings: 417
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 69.5
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 120
White-tailed Kite: 1
Bald Eagle: 1
Northern Harrier: 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 59
Cooper's Hawk: 22
Red-shouldered Hawk: 23
Red-tailed Hawk: 163
American Kestrel: 8
Merlin: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 4
Buteo: 5
Raptor: 3

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014  
Posted by: Matt and Kate

We had another gorgeous November day up on the hill! Although not quite as good as the 15 species day yesterday, we were still in a flurry of red-tailed hawks meandering back and forth. We had a few dark morphs, but something else truly special… drum roll please… a dark morph Harlan’s red-tailed hawk! The day was busy, but didn't quite feel like the 560 bird day it was thanks to the huge influx of red-tails. Aside from the red-tails stealing the show, we also had an osprey and a few merlins stop by (or zip by as was the case!)

Total Sightings: 560
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 93.33
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 134
Osprey: 1
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 6
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 77
Cooper's Hawk: 31
Red-shouldered Hawk: 10
Red-tailed Hawk: 270
American Kestrel: 3
Merlin: 3
Peregrine Falcon: 4

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 9
Buteo: 4
Falcon: 1
Raptor: 6

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014  
Posted by: Kris Vanesky and Phoebe Parker-Shames

This morning, we were greeted on the hill by a flurry of raptors. It was a great foreshadowing for such an incredible day! We got a great number of Red-tailed Hawks and some great views of accipiters. Then, we also got to see some other, more unexpected, species. A Prairie Falcon gave us a great look as it flew up from Kurby Cove and a Broadwing graced us with his presence as he flew high in some thermals. Both are a little behind in the migration…

Some other highlights were a far out Ferruginous and a Golden Eagle that flew right over us, giving us a great view of its white base on the tail and white wing panels. But… the highest of highlights for the day, was an adult Bald Eagle, which gave us the record number of 15 species for this migration season!

Hopefully this flurry of activity continues into the week. The infamous Rough-legged Hawk has yet to be seen. Good luck Wed II. Don’t forget your sunscreen and your parkas.


Total Sightings: 503
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 83.83
Total Species: 15

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 133
White-tailed Kite: 1
Bald Eagle: 2
Northern Harrier: 11
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 64
Cooper's Hawk: 38
Red-shouldered Hawk: 11
Broad-winged Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 213
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
Golden Eagle: 2
American Kestrel: 3
Merlin: 5
Peregrine Falcon: 5
Prairie Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 9
Buteo: 2
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, November 03, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget and Kate

Holy hawkwatch, Batman! He we were thinking it was a quiet, nippy November day when in fact the sky is ON FIRE WITH RAPTORS. MORE RAPTORS THAN AT ONE COULD SHAKE A STICK!(?) The day began slow and the pumpkin chips were consumed rapidly. But then all around us, vast kettles of Red-tailed Hawks swept up from somewhere below the hill and had us craning our necks upwards! Here a Merlin, there a Merlin and then suddenly a light falcon careening across south Slacker hill to perch, stoic, atop a rocky outcrop. But was that our only Prairie falcon? Nay. Our second came lifting up from the rifle range and was silhouetted against the Point Bonita Lighthouse. "Big falcon! Really big falcon! Someone please look at this giant falcon now, please!" And sure enough, our second Prairie Falcon circled above us, peering down before a long flight to the city and beyond. Similarly, our first Ferruginous Hawk rose nonchalantly amongst the sea of Red-tailed Hawks as if it were not some magnificent and gargantuan buteo. Up and up and up until we had to look away due to its blinding whiteness.

Was it a good day? No. It was a great day.
If you're allergic to falcons, stay inside.

Total Sightings: 460
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 76.67
Total Species: 12

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 95
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 6
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 74
Cooper's Hawk: 34
Red-shouldered Hawk: 19
Red-tailed Hawk: 182
Ferruginous Hawk: 2
American Kestrel: 10
Merlin: 19
Peregrine Falcon: 3
Prairie Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 8
Buteo: 3
Falcon: 1
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, November 02, 2014  
Posted by: Matt and Bridget

HAWKWATCH WAS AWESOME TODAY!!! We not only saw our 303rd broad-winged hawk as we arrived on the hill today, but we later saw our 304th and 305th within ten minutes of seeing a Swainson's hawk and prairie falcon (around 115Pm PST). That is right folks, we saw all four species of falcons that can be seen yearly in the Marin Headlands. Perhaps we will get very luckly this year and see their big cousin, the arctic gyrfalcon! Anyways, it was a very birdy day which may have been due to the nice mild weather. Mostly calm NW and W winds along with an average temp of 66 degrees allowed hawkwatchers to gaze into the headlands without feeling pressed to add or subtract any layers. However, we had little to no fog cover, so some birds were very high in the sky and many hawkwatchers had to continuously apply sunscreen (others simply looked like bandits as they covered up their face with UV reflecting fabric). We are still on high alert for the seasons 1st rough-legged hawk, so be on the look out as the Mon II team is bound to see it tomorrow. Oh! Also, we saw a lot of Red-shouldered hawk movement today...perhaps it will continue throughout this week :)

GOOD LUCK WEEK II!

-Sun I

Total Sightings: 441
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 73.5
Total Species: 12

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 133
Northern Harrier: 6
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 43
Cooper's Hawk: 17
Red-shouldered Hawk: 17
Broad-winged Hawk: 3
Swainson's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 158
American Kestrel: 12
Merlin: 25
Peregrine Falcon: 6
Prairie Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 6
Buteo: 2
Raptor: 11

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, November 01, 2014  
Posted by: Kris Vanesky and Bridget Bradshaw

The clouds were gorgeous today and the gusty Northwest winds brought us great falcon numbers! We got some great looks at some Merlins flying directly over the hill and the Redtail numbers are steadily increasing. Sadly, the Rough-legged is still up for grabs! Sunday I better make sure to keep a look out for those beautiful carpal patches.

Total Sightings: 306
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 51
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 83
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 9
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 39
Cooper's Hawk: 21
Red-shouldered Hawk: 6
Red-tailed Hawk: 92
American Kestrel: 10
Merlin: 13
Peregrine Falcon: 7

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 9
Buteo: 5
Falcon: 1
Raptor: 10

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, October 30, 2014  
Posted by: BKM

We had a decent day on the hill today as it was mostly clear until the fog rolled in around twelve o’clock. Prior to our birding adventures on the hill, we were being told not to try to walk up the hill due to some filming that was going on. However, we were allowed to make it up just in time. Some of the highlights that we saw before the marine layer appeared were adult accipiters and a dark morph Red-tailed Hawk.
Don’t forget to bring a parka and some sunscreen,
Thur I


Total Sightings: 250
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 41.67
Total Species: 9

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 76
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 7
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 45
Cooper's Hawk: 19
Red-tailed Hawk: 81
American Kestrel: 5
Merlin: 3
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 9
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014  
Posted by: Kris Vanesky

It was sunny day with great winds on Hawk Hill and it brought us a rise in raptor numbers! We were over-whelmed with beautiful birds in the sky! We had a fantastic boost in Sharp-shinned hawks and it seems like the second Redtail peak is on its way! We got a first look at a blue-backed adult Merlin whizzing by the hill. The ravens were also being particularly frisky today, fighting with a Red-shouldered Hawk and some Redtails.

Sadly, there still hasn’t been a Rough-legged Hawk sighting yet. So, good luck Thursday I and don’t forget your sunscreen!


Total Sightings: 351
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 58.5
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 91
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 12
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 91
Cooper's Hawk: 25
Red-shouldered Hawk: 5
Red-tailed Hawk: 92
American Kestrel: 2
Merlin: 7
Peregrine Falcon: 10

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014  
Posted by: Kate and Matt

We had some beautiful goldilocks weather all day, not too hot and not too cold. Unfortunately the birds didn’t find it “just right”. Despite a slow start to the day we did get quite a few merlins zipping along and a very special 302nd broad-wing hawk. We even got quite the show from a humpback whale under the bridge! Hopefully he or she doesn’t decide to take too long of a venture into the bay. Although we did see a humpback whale, we’re still waiting on the first rough-legged hawk of the season…maybe tomorrow!

Total Sightings: 256
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 42.67
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 50
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 6
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 65
Cooper's Hawk: 23
Red-shouldered Hawk: 7
Broad-winged Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 77
American Kestrel: 4
Merlin: 5
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 6
Buteo: 3
Falcon: 5

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, October 27, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget and Matt

Today there were Merlins and a Broad-winged Hawk! It was our 301st Broad-winged Hawk of the season! Most of the birds today were specks against the bizzare, high-altitude cloud formations. We had a few low accipiters and some great looks at an adult dark-morph Red-tailed Hawk.

Total Sightings: 231
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 38.5
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 66
Northern Harrier: 6
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 33
Cooper's Hawk: 14
Red-shouldered Hawk: 9
Broad-winged Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 75
American Kestrel: 2
Merlin: 5
Peregrine Falcon: 5

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 7
Buteo: 8

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, October 26, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget and Kate

We went up with the expectation that the birds would be plentiful, numerous, gleeful with wild abandon after the passing of the rain from yesterday. It’s possible that they were gleeful in a nondescript way and their wild abandon conducted low amongst the bushes. Wind out of the northwest sounded promising, but failed to produce the fruit of birds. Some high altitude falcons and a single Golden Eagle kept us peering into the bright unknown, squinting and hopeful. For so few total birds, we did see surprising diversity. Still holding out for the first Rough-legged Hawk of the season!

Total Sightings: 242
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 40.33
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 136
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 17
Cooper's Hawk: 3
Red-shouldered Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 60
Golden Eagle: 1
American Kestrel: 2
Merlin: 3
Peregrine Falcon: 4

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 5
Buteo: 4

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, October 25, 2014  
Posted by: Phoebe Parker-Shames and Bridget Bradshaw

Apparently, raptors don’t like rain, since there were very few out today. The highlight of the day was the wonderful (penultimate) hawk talk delivered by Bridget and Nick Villa, accompanied by a well-behaved juvenile female Cooper’s Hawk. They covered a wide range of topics such as why we study raptors, why we study them in the Marin Headlands, and which one is the fastest. We even got to observe a Red-tailed Hawk as it stilled above the hillside and provided an excellent real life example. The last moment of excitement was a late Osprey before we left the hill to beat out the rain.

Total Sightings: 135
Hours Counted: 5.75
HPH: 23.48
Total Species: 6

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 92
Osprey: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 4
Cooper's Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 28
American Kestrel: 1

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, October 24, 2014  
Posted by: Kris Vanesky and Bridget Bradshaw

What began as a beautiful day, quickly became engulfed in fog. While we didn’t see many birds, we still had a great time, full of laughter. When the fog rolled in, we decided to head to the Annex where the volunteers decided to pick up the litter, doing our part to keep the Marin Headlands beautiful. Hopefully the rain will stay away for Hawkwatch tomorrow, but if not, we need it anyways. It will be one of the win, win kind of days!

Total Sightings: 39
Hours Counted: 2
HPH: 19.5
Total Species: 6

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 19
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 8
Red-shouldered Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 9
American Kestrel: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, October 23, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Kris and Phoebe

Is it possible for hope to burn away fog? Since we can’t prove that it doesn’t, let’s just say that we physically willed the fog to dissipate and were able to summit Hawk Hill. Birds were popping over the hill early in the day, but dwindled by early afternoon. We had a perfectly planar view of a Swainson’s Hawk as it glided, un-flapping, from Hill 88 across the bay over to the Presidio. The near-ish Golden Eagle was uplifting during the muggy heat of mid-day, and we had a few close encounters with adult accipiters. We left the hill beneath a partial solar eclipse and chose to disregard any advice about not looking directly at the sun. Update on intern cornea damage to come!

Total Sightings: 202
Hours Counted: 5.17
HPH: 39.07
Total Species: 12

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 81
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 29
Cooper's Hawk: 22
Red-shouldered Hawk: 9
Swainson's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 35
Golden Eagle: 1
American Kestrel: 5
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 11
Buteo: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014  
Posted by: Kate and Matt

Today was a lovely hawk watch day, sunny and fairly fog free the whole day. The biggest highlight of the day was 2 golden eagles. Our merlin numbers are also starting to pick up the speed. For those birders out there, we even had a visit from a Townsend’s warbler! We were visited midday by a nature bridge class who helped us bird for some time, and were quite talented! Hopefully the bird numbers pick up even more for tomorrow’s team! Good luck.

Total Sightings: 357
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 59.5
Total Species: 12

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 97
White-tailed Kite: 2
Northern Harrier: 6
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 91
Cooper's Hawk: 44
Red-shouldered Hawk: 4
Broad-winged Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 73
Golden Eagle: 2
American Kestrel: 9
Merlin: 4
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 7
Buteo: 2
Falcon: 3
Raptor: 9

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014  
Posted by: Phoebe Parker-Shames and Kris Vanesky

Today as we got to the top of Hawk Hill, a beautiful dark-morph adult Red-tail greeted us as it flew overhead. Although the day was slow overall, it was a great day for Peregrine Falcons, and we even saw one fighting with a Merlin at the very end of the day. We’re starting to see a lot more adult accipiters lately — a few flew right over Hawk Hill and gave us a great look at their orange-barred bellies. Hopefully tomorrow will bring lots of birds following yesterday's brief rain.

Total Sightings: 234
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 39
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 108
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 27
Cooper's Hawk: 20
Red-shouldered Hawk: 5
Red-tailed Hawk: 51
American Kestrel: 2
Merlin: 5
Peregrine Falcon: 7

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 2
Raptor: 3

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, October 20, 2014  
Posted by: Kate Matt and Bridget

We got the rain we needed so badly today, however we didn't get the birds. We went on a small birding walk around the lagoon and visited the annex before admitting defeat. Alas, maybe Tuesday will have better luck!

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, October 19, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget and Matt

It was a slow day up on hawk hill, but Sunday I prevailed. For our effort we were rewarded with a four hour window of no fog and a few adult accipiters. How you have better luck Monday II,

Sun I

P.S. Don't forget to bring your sunscreen and a warm jacket

Total Sightings: 223
Hours Counted: 5.25
HPH: 42.48
Total Species: 9

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 105
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 7
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 41
Cooper's Hawk: 5
Red-shouldered Hawk: 5
Red-tailed Hawk: 39
American Kestrel: 7
Merlin: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 10
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, October 18, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget and Kris

Clear skies and wind out of the east early in the day brought us large kettles of Turkey vultures and ravens, with accipiters scattered in between. Got a terrific look as a Broad-winged hawk scooted over the hill without any messing around and headed straight for the distant ridge. A distant Ferruginous hawk and some late day Peregrine falcons rounded us up to a high species count for such a low count day. As always, Saturday I went through an entire bag of ginger snaps and were persistently optomistic in the face of great heat. Everyone bring your sunscreen and your mittens, watermelon and hot soup, and be ready, always, for anything.

Total Sightings: 242
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 40.33
Total Species: 12

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 145
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 14
Cooper's Hawk: 13
Red-shouldered Hawk: 8
Broad-winged Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 40
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 1
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 6
Buteo: 2
Raptor: 2

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, October 17, 2014  
Posted by: Phoebe Parker-Shames

Yet another fairly slow day. Although the weather was very pleasant from a human perspective, there was essentially no wind until the very end of the day, so perhaps not the best conditions for raptor migration. The Turkey Vultures were more or less the only raptors out in any numbers, but we did see a handfull American Kestrels and a couple of straggling Broadwing Hawks. Hopefully, the Headlands will get the expected (and much needed) rain soon, and if we’re lucky, the raptors will follow the storm front.

Total Sightings: 245
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 40.83
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 156
Northern Harrier: 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 11
Cooper's Hawk: 4
Red-shouldered Hawk: 1
Broad-winged Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 45
American Kestrel: 6
Merlin: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 2
Buteo: 6
Falcon: 1
Raptor: 3

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, October 16, 2014  
Posted by: Kate Bridget and Matt

The rains have come and gone...for now, and we had fantastic clearity for hawkwatching! This day exceed most of our expetations, but was not too overwhelming with fairly low numbers. Some of the neat birds seen on the hill were merlins(especially one that was attacking a sharp-shinned hawk), peregrine falcons, and a Swainson's hawk.

Good luck Fri I,
Thur I out.

Total Sightings: 234
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 39
Total Species: 12

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 81
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 29
Cooper's Hawk: 21
Red-shouldered Hawk: 9
Broad-winged Hawk: 2
Swainson's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 67
American Kestrel: 4
Merlin: 4
Peregrine Falcon: 5

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014  
Posted by: Phoebe Parker-Shames and Kris Vanesky

Today was very, very slow. Even without as much rain as predicted, it seems as though the storm front might have disrupted the raptors’ migration since the sky was more or less empty today. We saw a lot of adult red tails, and the highlight of the day was three adult Sharp-shinned hawks.

Total Sightings: 169
Hours Counted: 5.75
HPH: 29.39
Total Species: 8

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 96
Northern Harrier: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 7
Cooper's Hawk: 3
Red-shouldered Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 51
American Kestrel: 1
Merlin: 1

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014  
Posted by: Kate Owens

Although the spirit and determination of the hawkwatchers today was strong, the number of birds just wasn't. We tried our best to push away the encroaching fog, wind, and drizzle with our sunny personalities and dispositions. Alas, the weather won out today. Better luck to tomorrow!

Total Sightings: 7
Hours Counted: 1.25
HPH: 5.6
Total Species: 3

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 5
White-tailed Kite: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, October 13, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Bradshaw and Matt Delgado

Wore shorts in preparation for a blisteringly hot day and ended up with popsicles for legs. We ascended the hill and were greeted by a jumble of buteos and a fantastically proximal juvenile Golden eagle. If not facing south, one could not see the ominous wall of fog rolling in from the Pacific and by 12:30 most of our landmarks were flickering in and out of sight as we became eerily shrouded in patchy fog. We held out for a smattering of low Turkey vultures and a nearby blue-backed adult male Cooper's hawk. But the 25 mph fog-filled wind drove us down in elevation and we called it a day back in a nice, warm, walled space. Keep your eyes on the weather! Free advice from me to you: wear pants always.

Total Sightings: 225
Hours Counted: 4.75
HPH: 47.37
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 50
White-tailed Kite: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 57
Cooper's Hawk: 27
Red-shouldered Hawk: 4
Broad-winged Hawk: 4
Swainson's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 67
Golden Eagle: 1
American Kestrel: 6
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 4
Falcon: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, October 12, 2014  
Posted by: Kate Owens

We were excited to get up on the hill this morning. The sun was shining and the birds were singing! Today was warm, but the birds didn't dissapoint. We had another very red-shouldery day, with many, many juvenile red-shoulders as well as several golden eagles. A 13 species day, not too shabby!

Total Sightings: 518
Hours Counted: 5.75
HPH: 90.08
Total Species: 13

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 121
White-tailed Kite: 2
Northern Harrier: 13
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 56
Cooper's Hawk: 70
Red-shouldered Hawk: 62
Broad-winged Hawk: 14
Red-tailed Hawk: 150
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
Golden Eagle: 4
American Kestrel: 3
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 15
Buteo: 5

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, October 11, 2014  
Posted by: Phoebe Parker-Shames and Bridget Bradshaw

Today was a strange day. It started out with what looked like inpenetrable fog, but as we hung out on the hill in an act of seemingly foolish optimism, a gap appeared. Then, a few Turkey Vultures and a Red-shouldered hawk drifted through the gap, and the count was on. The fog immediately parted and revealed a sky full of Red-shouldered hawks to more than make up for the relative derth of accipiters. We caught a beautiful sighting of a juvenile Ferruginous hawk soaring close to the ground. Then, later in the day as the fog rolled back in low in the valley, the Blue Angel airplane show revved up as a few straggling birds decided to show them what you can do without a really loud engine.

Total Sightings: 273
Hours Counted: 4.42
HPH: 61.76
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 56
Northern Harrier: 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 24
Cooper's Hawk: 36
Red-shouldered Hawk: 43
Broad-winged Hawk: 16
Red-tailed Hawk: 63
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 4
Merlin: 5
Peregrine Falcon: 4

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 12
Buteo: 3
Falcon: 1
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, October 10, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Bradshaw and Kris Vanesky

Turns out that the silhouette slideshow came in handy today during our brief and foggy hawkwatch! It was fog, fog, more fog this morning, so we decided to meander around the lagoon. Grebes galore! But we got wind of clearing on top of Hawk Hill, so up we went! Alas, the fog was more persistent than us and we admitted to defeat after our 29th bird in an hour or so. Where is this fog coming from? And when will it leave? And more importantly, where will people go to look at planes if this fog continues?

Total Sightings: 29
Hours Counted: 1.17
HPH: 24.79
Total Species: 5

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 5
Northern Harrier: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 4
Cooper's Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 14

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, October 09, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Bradshaw and Phoebe Parker-Shames and Kris Vanesky

Today began with cake and fog and ended in cake and fog. Everyone appreciated a long morning meeting, filled with literary discussion and flipping through Sibley's. However, feeling obligated to go look at real, live birds, we went on a stroll to the lagoon and watched a Sora pick through the reeds and a few Eared grebes bob around a cluster of coots. On the raptorial side, we were allowed spectacular views of an adult Peregrine falcon as it barraged a raven! Also a juvenile Red-shouldered hawk, a pair of kestrels, a pair of Red-tailed hawks, and an adult Cooper's hawk. It was still foggy up on the hill at 3PM, so don't feel bad about calling it at 1PM. Hoping this blows out and we'll get a nice bird flow tomorrow!

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014  
Posted by: Kate Owens

Today seemed like it would be another scorcher when we got up to the hill, despite the thick icing of fog on the cake that is marin headlands. It ended up being quite teeth chattering chilly at times. The day was somewhat slow, but we did get an excellent look at a dark morph broad-wing this morning to make it all worth while. We also had a kettle of about 20 turkey vultures who came over hawk hill to scrutinize our volunteer staff. Aside from the usual raptor suspects we had a Lewis and Acorn woodpecker. Better luck to tomorrow's hawkwatch!!

Total Sightings: 404
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 67.33
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 113
Osprey: 2
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 55
Cooper's Hawk: 69
Red-shouldered Hawk: 12
Broad-winged Hawk: 38
Red-tailed Hawk: 88
American Kestrel: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 18
Buteo: 1
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014  
Posted by: Phoebe Parker-Shames and Kris Vanesky

At first, we doubted whether we would make it up to Hawk Hill today with all the fog. But then the weather cleared, and all the birds came out...all 240 of them. It seems like most of the raptors already cleared out with peak, but we still got a few good looks at some Sharp-shinned hawks with very full crops, juvenile harriers, and a bunch of colorful male kestrels.

Total Sightings: 240
Hours Counted: 5.17
HPH: 46.42
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 65
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 52
Cooper's Hawk: 12
Red-shouldered Hawk: 3
Broad-winged Hawk: 10
Red-tailed Hawk: 59
American Kestrel: 6
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 19
Buteo: 6
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, October 06, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Bradshaw and Kate Owens

From the base of Hawk Hill, things looked dismal and the fog was thicker than buttermilk on a summer's day. However, it was but an illusion for upon reaching the summit of Hawk Hill one could see to Mt. Diablo and beyond! As we stood overlooking a sea of fog with only the tops of the Golden Gate Bridge towers peeping out, what emerged from the mist but a monstorous and gleaming white buteo! Lo and behold, a Ferruginous Hawk! Buteos here, buteos there, buteos, buteos everywhere. While the bird flow was a trickle at best, we were able to squeeze in 11 species with only 233 sightings. The wind by the end of the day was as welcome as a familiar cat instead of a racoon in your kitchen when you get home. So let's hope the heat gives us a break and the birds keep a-movin'!

Total Sightings: 233
Hours Counted: 5.5
HPH: 42.36
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 76
White-tailed Kite: 2
Northern Harrier: 7
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 24
Cooper's Hawk: 22
Red-shouldered Hawk: 4
Broad-winged Hawk: 25
Red-tailed Hawk: 59
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 2

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, October 05, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Bradshaw and Matt Delgado

We saw 12 species today! We didn't see a lot of each species, but were treated to enormous flocks of swifts, swallows, and band-tailed pigeons. Broad-winged hawks made an appearance, though we expect them to become a rarer sight as we march into October. Hot day, but supposed to cool off for tomorrow. Continue constant hydration vigilance. Let no waterbottle go undrunk!

Total Sightings: 296
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 49.33
Total Species: 12

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 94
Osprey: 1
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 50
Cooper's Hawk: 29
Red-shouldered Hawk: 14
Broad-winged Hawk: 6
Red-tailed Hawk: 54
American Kestrel: 4
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 22
Buteo: 7
Raptor: 10

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, October 04, 2014  
Posted by: Kris Vanesky Bridget Bradshaw

Today was HOOOTTTT, which was perfect for Hawaiian shirt day up on Hawk Hill! We felt the heat on the hill and the raptors felt it in the sky. Activity was slow most of the day and the raptors were flying high. We did get a great look at an Osprey that flew around the hill. We hope it picks up for the Sunday group. Make sure to bring lots of water and sunscreen!!

Total Sightings: 321
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 53.5
Total Species: 12

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 119
Osprey: 2
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 41
Cooper's Hawk: 31
Red-shouldered Hawk: 19
Broad-winged Hawk: 5
Red-tailed Hawk: 71
American Kestrel: 3
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 11
Buteo: 5
Raptor: 7

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, October 03, 2014  
Posted by: Phoebe Parker-Shames

Today was both literally and figuratively a "hot" day for hawkwatching: our raptors per hour almost exactly matched the degrees farenheit at the end of the day (99.3 and 97.6 respectively). We toughed out the heat and were rewarded with two Ferruginous Hawks, a bunch of accipiters, a pod of dolphins, and migrating black swifts. If you are planning to come up to Hawk Hill this weekend, I strongly advise bringing plently of sunscreen, and about twice as much water as you think you might possibly need.

Total Sightings: 596
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 99.33
Total Species: 12

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 225
Osprey: 2
Northern Harrier: 11
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 80
Cooper's Hawk: 90
Red-shouldered Hawk: 24
Broad-winged Hawk: 11
Red-tailed Hawk: 129
Ferruginous Hawk: 2
American Kestrel: 4
Merlin: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 4

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 9
Buteo: 1
Raptor: 2

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, October 02, 2014  
Posted by: Kate Owens

Today started out as quite the blustery day with amazing clear skies.The accipiters continue to parade through with a flurry of sharpies and a steady rain of cooper's hawks. The temperature started to rise as did the hawk counts. We enjoyed the special treat today of multiple close sub-adult golden eagle sightings and an adult broad wing. Today also seemed to have quite a few dark morph red-tails (those polymorphic birds keep things exciting!). All in all a great day despite the heat. Good luck to Friday 1 tomorrow!

Total Sightings: 777
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 129.5
Total Species: 12

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 193
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 12
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 191
Cooper's Hawk: 108
Red-shouldered Hawk: 16
Broad-winged Hawk: 5
Red-tailed Hawk: 183
Golden Eagle: 4
American Kestrel: 8
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 7

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 42
Buteo: 1
Falcon: 4
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014  
Posted by: Kris Vanesky Phoebe Parker-Shames

Today started out glorious and windy. We were surrounded by raptors flying everywhere. As the sun rose higher in the sky, our hopes for the day began to rise with it. We got great views of a Swainson's hawk flying overhead and a distant Prairie Falcon flying ever so close to the sun. Every quadrant was shouting with joy and yelling out species. Then, as the sun continued to climb, the wind slowly died, creating a very still afternoon. We were still continuously graced with accipiters and Red-tailed hawks. The day ended up being a record day for sightings and tying for species numbers. After such a glorious day, we were walking down the hill, and saw species number 15, a beautiful Ferruginous hawk. It was a great way to end the day.

Good luck to the hawkwatchers tomorrow. Make sure to bring plenty of water and wear sunscreen. It's going to be a scorcher up there.

Wednesday 1 out.

**Note that actual hawks per hour was 141.9 and hours counted was 6.41. The computer was having issues with us getting on the hill early.**

Total Sightings: 911
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 151.8
Total Species: 14

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 181
Osprey: 1
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 9
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 236
Cooper's Hawk: 175
Red-shouldered Hawk: 31
Broad-winged Hawk: 13
Swainson's Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 177
American Kestrel: 7
Merlin: 4
Peregrine Falcon: 6
Prairie Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 41
Buteo: 7
Falcon: 1
Raptor: 17

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014  
Posted by: Kate Owens and Matt Delgado

While today was super foggy, we saw so many sharp-shinned hawks! In nearly every break of fog within the first three hours were many accipiters. We also saw this season's hight number of broad-winged hawks. Towards the end of the day, the fog broke up and finnaly showed us some decent mixed kettles of red-tailed hawks, broad-winged hawks, accipiters, and the occaisonal turkey vulture. While we were given a brief moment of great happiness by a deceptive turkey vulture, which we thought might have been a head-on golden eagle, we were treated to hawk nirvana at the end of the day in which we saw 80 sharp-shinned hawks and our seconed Swainson's hawk of the season.

Peak is here!
-Tue I

Total Sightings: 698
Hours Counted: 5.5
HPH: 126.91
Total Species: 13

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 40
Osprey: 1
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 7
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 346
Cooper's Hawk: 109
Red-shouldered Hawk: 25
Broad-winged Hawk: 37
Swainson's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 80
American Kestrel: 2
Merlin: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 40
Buteo: 5
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, September 29, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Bradshaw and Matt Delgado

Today was one of those days where you begin at the Annex and see a Ferruginous hawk, but then hike up the hill and see no Ferruginous hawks for the rest of the day. That being said, raptors were numerous despite low visibility and biting wind. We've started to see adult accipiters come through and flaunt their grown-up plumage like they own the place. We're still on a Broad-winged hawk kick and seeing them everyday, regardless of weather and the multitude of people oggling them.

Total Sightings: 484
Hours Counted: 4.75
HPH: 101.89
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 61
Northern Harrier: 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 186
Cooper's Hawk: 77
Red-shouldered Hawk: 2
Broad-winged Hawk: 19
Red-tailed Hawk: 100
American Kestrel: 4
Merlin: 5
Peregrine Falcon: 4

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 17
Buteo: 5

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, September 28, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Bradshaw and Kate Owens

For being such a big count day, things stayed suprisingly smooth and unchaotic on the hill. Fog gave and fog took away, but visibility was enough for us to track small groups of accipiters zinging through with Broad-winged hawks in tow. We united under a late-day Ferruginous hawk soaring with a harrier. We also maganged to slip a sub-adult Golden eagle in with only seconds left in the game and left the hill with residual Broad-wings overhead.

Total Sightings: 641
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 106.83
Total Species: 13

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 110
Osprey: 1
White-tailed Kite: 2
Northern Harrier: 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 145
Cooper's Hawk: 118
Red-shouldered Hawk: 3
Broad-winged Hawk: 15
Red-tailed Hawk: 148
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
Golden Eagle: 1
American Kestrel: 5
Peregrine Falcon: 6

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 66
Buteo: 6
Raptor: 9

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, September 27, 2014  
Posted by: Phoebe Parker-Shames and Bridget Bradshaw

At first, we were worried that today would continue the streak of non-peak days we've been experiencing lately, but by early afternoon the birds started turning out. We got to see some intense accipiter-raven aerial brawls, a colorful adult red-shouldered hawk, and two more ferruginous hawks. The ferruginous hawks are such large, light-colored buteos that when the first one started flying in, all we could see what a white V heading towards us. We also got to witness a wedding ceremony overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.

Total Sightings: 423
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 70.5
Total Species: 14

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 119
Osprey: 3
White-tailed Kite: 1
Bald Eagle: 1
Northern Harrier: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 92
Cooper's Hawk: 53
Red-shouldered Hawk: 15
Broad-winged Hawk: 16
Red-tailed Hawk: 75
Ferruginous Hawk: 2
American Kestrel: 7
Merlin: 5
Peregrine Falcon: 4

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 20
Buteo: 5
Falcon: 1
Raptor: 2

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, September 26, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Bradshaw and Kris Vanesky

Today was predominately filled with quiet standing, punctuated by excited bellowing. Despite having seen only around 200 total raptors, we were treated to a speciose day. A Ferruginous Hawk was gracious enough to entertain us and allow everyone a look through the scope. Shortly thereafter a very golden adult Golden Eagle took a long and luxurious glide from Hill 88 to the immediate vacinity of Hawk Hill and passed on and away over the city. We ended our day with a rainbow to the northeast. What is on the other side of this rainbow? Perhaps an unfathomable number of raptors pouring in for the weekend. Good luck Saturday II.

Total Sightings: 213
Hours Counted: 5.5
HPH: 38.73
Total Species: 14

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 79
Osprey: 3
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 32
Cooper's Hawk: 26
Red-shouldered Hawk: 6
Broad-winged Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 34
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
Golden Eagle: 2
American Kestrel: 7
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 5
Buteo: 5
Falcon: 1
Raptor: 3

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, September 25, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Bradshaw and Phoebe Parker-Shames and Kris Vanesky

Slow raptor day, fast everything else day! The rain let up and the fog cleared by 10:30. The weather only got better from there, but raptors remained few and far between. However, with rain comes ENORMOUS NUMBERS OF TERMITES and with enormous numbers of termites comes ENORMOUS NUMBERS OF WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS (and a few Vaux's Swifts!). They zipped and turned and they were generally unpreturbed by our presence as they winged down the termites in front of our faces. We were also treated to a perfet southbound 'V' of White-fronted Geese, making all kinds of ruckus up in the higher altitudes.

In lieu of the recent termite explosion, here are some termite facts:

Termites reproduce by swarming. The swarms consist of workers that molt into reproductive, winged adults. During this nuptial flight, most will become food for birds, frogs, lizards, and other animals. Those that survive will become the kings and queens of future colonies. Some scientists estimate that ants and termites combined make up more than 20% of the world's animal biomass.



Total Sightings: 167
Hours Counted: 4.75
HPH: 35.16
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 82
Osprey: 1
Northern Harrier: 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 24
Cooper's Hawk: 11
Red-shouldered Hawk: 2
Broad-winged Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 29
American Kestrel: 4
Peregrine Falcon: 4

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 4
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014  
Posted by: Kate Owens and Matt Delgado

The day started off hot, humid, and slow. Wednesday II was feeling abandoned by both the raptors and our our leader as they both headed south for migration. Though we can't complain too much as we did have clear skies and good visibility till 3PM when the fog rolled in. Some of todays highlights were the inconsistant flow of sharp-shinned hawks and a very fiesty peregrine falcon, who took way too much pleasure in chasing away the less than graceful Cooper's hawks flying through it's airspace. Hopefully Thurs II will have better luck than we did, but where we managed to scoot by without getting rained on...I think you guys and gals may need your raincoats.

Happy hawkwatching,
Wed II

Total Sightings: 295
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 49.17
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 145
White-tailed Kite: 2
Northern Harrier: 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 34
Cooper's Hawk: 29
Red-shouldered Hawk: 3
Broad-winged Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 42
American Kestrel: 10
Peregrine Falcon: 5

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 8
Falcon: 1
Raptor: 10

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014  
Posted by: Phoebe Parker-Shames and Kris Vanesky

Despite the fog, we still had a very busy day on Hawk Hill. The Broad-winged Hawks are still out in strong numbers, and we even had a last minute Bald Eagle sighting as it flew through a brief gap in the fog. The highlight of the day, however, was a fight between an angry juvenile Peregrine Falcon and a pesky Raven.

Total Sightings: 516
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 86
Total Species: 13

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 98
Osprey: 1
White-tailed Kite: 1
Bald Eagle: 1
Northern Harrier: 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 187
Cooper's Hawk: 115
Red-shouldered Hawk: 8
Broad-winged Hawk: 18
Red-tailed Hawk: 49
American Kestrel: 1
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 30

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, September 22, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Bradshaw

Apparently more than a few people woke up this morning with a hunch that today would be a good day for migration to show itself. At 9:00 there were but four of us making our way up to Hawk Hill, but by 11:00 the number of counters had jumped to 18! I'm sitting here and envisioning the utter chaos that today might have been had we not had so many eager raptor enthusiasts participate of their own volition! The sky was brimming with accipiters, high and low, determined and lackadasical. Right off the bat we had some Broad-winged Hawks soaring with Red-tailed and Cooper's Hawks in front of the Golden Gate Bridge. The day only escalted from there, bringing us Merlins, Osprey, Red-shouldered Hawks, and a Golden Eagle! Big birds, little birds, red birds, blue(ish) birds! If you are not sure whether it's worth coming up to the hill in the next few days, picture this:

You see a bird close by and raise your binoculars. As you are focused on the near bird, you see another rising behind it. And another and another until you are looking at a string of birds from the Golden Gate Bridge to Mount Tam.

Welcome to peak!

Total Sightings: 700
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 116.67
Total Species: 13

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 95
Osprey: 5
White-tailed Kite: 4
Northern Harrier: 13
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 189
Cooper's Hawk: 185
Red-shouldered Hawk: 19
Broad-winged Hawk: 18
Red-tailed Hawk: 128
Golden Eagle: 1
American Kestrel: 11
Merlin: 4
Peregrine Falcon: 8

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, September 21, 2014  
Posted by: Matt Delgado and Bridget Bradshaw

Finally! The fog lifted a bit today and we were able to get up on the hill with a decent ceiling of clouds above us. Once we got through our first hour of hawkwatch the flow of accipiters (short rounded wings and long tailed, hawks) really opened up. We had record numbers of sharp-shinned hawks (the smallest of the accipiters) for the 2014 season today, but unfortunately no adults showed up for the party. Among some of the neater birds seen today were the great looks we got at a soaring merlin and two dark-morph broad-winged hawks!

Quick quiz: How do you tell a juvenile dark morph broad-winged hawk from a juvenile dark morph red-tailed hawk?

Anyways, it was a fun time up on the hill and six hours of standing just flew right by. Just remember to bring plenty of layers tomorrow Mon II, and good luck!

-Sun I out

Total Sightings: 518
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 86.33
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 113
Osprey: 1
Northern Harrier: 6
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 172
Cooper's Hawk: 37
Red-shouldered Hawk: 3
Broad-winged Hawk: 9
Red-tailed Hawk: 124
American Kestrel: 11
Merlin: 4

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 28
Buteo: 3
Falcon: 3
Raptor: 4

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, September 20, 2014  
Posted by: Kris Vanesky

Sadly, it was another foggy day in the Marin Headlands. The team decided to meander up the Miwok Trail, where we spotted two hovering female American Kestrels and a male and female Peregrine Falcon. As we wandered closer to Hawk Hill at the rifle range we spotted a beautiful male Kestrel and a Red-tailed hawk. The fog looked as if it were about to lift, so we decided to take our chances up on hawk hill. Alas, it was not meant to be. The fog was too thick and we decided to call it a day. Hopefully this fog will lift soon and we can get back to our quadrants, counting the majestic raptors in the Marin Headlands.

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, September 19, 2014  
Posted by: Phoebe Parker-Shames

The fog refused to budge from its comfortable position snuggled against the hillsides anywhere in the vicinity of Hawk Hill, so we were unable to do Hawkwatch today. Instead, we took a nice walk around the lagoon and saw a pair of Peregrine Falcons, a few Red-tailed Hawks, a coyote hunting by the edge of the water, and a tree with five different warbler species all mixed together. From the edge of the Rodeo Valley Trail, we watched the fog rolling in even lower, and one of the Hawkwatchers concluded that Hawk Hill had turned into a Fog Volcano. After seeing that, we decided to call it a day.

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, September 18, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Bradshaw Matt Delgado Kate Owens

TODAY THERE WAS SOME FOG. And then there was less fog. And then, incredibly, there was more fog. We went up the hill and then down the hill and then back up the hill one last time to actually count the birds and we had a glorious few hours of only mild fog. Despite the short count time, we got our binocs on a juvenile Northern Harrier cruising in the valley to the southeast of the hill. There was also a period of time before the fog swallowed them that both of our bridge Peregrines were sitting atop the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge, reigning over their vast and beautiful kingdom as per usual.

Total Sightings: 28
Hours Counted: 2
HPH: 14
Total Species: 7

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 14
Northern Harrier: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 3
Cooper's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 6
American Kestrel: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014  
Posted by: Phoebe Parker-Shames

The activity on Hawk Hill is picking up now, with an increase in accipiter numbers as well as the early trickle of Broad-winged Hawks. We had a juvenile Northern Harrier make a few passes along the lower West slope of the hill so that we got a great view of his pumpkin-colored breast. We also got some close views of Sharpies and Cooper's Hawks to help (or confuse) us on our accipiter identification skills. Some of the non-bird-related sightings of the day included the first unicycle to make it up to Hawk Hill, and the second marriage proposal our team has witnessed so far this season. Look out for more Broadwing Hawks, Red-shouldered Hawks, and Sharp-Shinned Hawks in the next few days (unless the predicted storm keeps us off the hill).

Total Sightings: 348
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 58
Total Species: 12

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 130
Osprey: 2
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 8
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 55
Cooper's Hawk: 41
Red-shouldered Hawk: 3
Broad-winged Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 89
American Kestrel: 4
Merlin: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 5
Raptor: 5

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014  
Posted by: Phoebe Parker-Shames

*Belated post for Tuesday I*
An exciting day, with both eagle species accounted for, including the season's first Bald Eagle.

Total Sightings: 301
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 50.17
Total Species: 14

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 121
Osprey: 4
White-tailed Kite: 3
Bald Eagle: 1
Northern Harrier: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 29
Cooper's Hawk: 36
Red-shouldered Hawk: 12
Broad-winged Hawk: 5
Red-tailed Hawk: 69
Golden Eagle: 1
American Kestrel: 7
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 5

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 4
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, September 15, 2014  
Posted by: Matthew Delgado

Today looked liked it was going to be a foggy day...but then around eleven, the sky opened up and we were able to see ospreys, sharp-shinned hawks, Cooper's hawks, adult and juvenile red-shouldered hawks, red-tailed hawks, two peregrines, a merlin and...wait for it...A BROAD-WINGED HAWK (a.k.a tiny, patagialess red-tailed hawk)!!! It was a great day, with not too much sun, just enough birds, and eleven species.

Good luck Tues II and I hope you see your first broad-winged hawks as well, as I thoroughly enjoyed mine :)

-Mon II

Total Sightings: 225
Hours Counted: 5.75
HPH: 39.13
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 103
Osprey: 4
Northern Harrier: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 11
Cooper's Hawk: 19
Red-shouldered Hawk: 8
Broad-winged Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 62
American Kestrel: 4
Merlin: 3
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 5
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, September 14, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Bradshaw and Kate Owens

After an accipiter boom in the early morning, the raptors were replaced with cold and fog and we had no choice but to wait for them to reappear and eat cookies. The fog had cleared by early afternoon and things started to trickle by, though the highlight was a last-minute juvenile Peregrine falcon parading its machismo and roughing up a juvenile Cooper's hawk. We're wondering if this is the same bird as yesterday that has since acquired a taste for attention of the hawkwatchers.



Total Sightings: 266
Hours Counted: 5.75
HPH: 45.9
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 138
Osprey: 1
Northern Harrier: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 8
Cooper's Hawk: 10
Red-shouldered Hawk: 4
Red-tailed Hawk: 67
American Kestrel: 4
Merlin: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 6

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 9
Buteo: 9
Raptor: 7

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, September 13, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Bradshaw and Phoebe Parker-Shames

Today was blustery and bustling with birds and tourists alike. In between the vast swaths of fog, we were granted some prize views of Red-shouldered hawks, a juevnile Peregrine falcon stooping, and a juvenile Golden Eagle! While the ends of the day were cropped off due to lack of visibility, we managed to get our eyes on a number of accipiters and discussed them at length like good birders.

Total Sightings: 190
Hours Counted: 4
HPH: 47.5
Total Species: 8

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 69
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 10
Cooper's Hawk: 14
Red-shouldered Hawk: 5
Red-tailed Hawk: 78
Golden Eagle: 1
American Kestrel: 4
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 7
Buteo: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, September 12, 2014  
Posted by: Kris Vanesky Bridget Bradshaw

It was a beautiful day on top of Hawk Hill today. With the winds blowing and sunny skies, we got a nice bump in accipiter sightings. But nothing can top a day like the sighting of a second juvenile ferruginous hawk! With consistantly higher raptors per hour, we are getting revved up for the beginning of peak season!

Total Sightings: 223
Hours Counted: 5
HPH: 44.6
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 52
Osprey: 1
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 5
Cooper's Hawk: 18
Red-tailed Hawk: 128
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 8
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, September 11, 2014  
Posted by: Kris Vanesky Bridget Bradshaw Phoebe Parker-Shames

The day started off slow and sweltering with a lack of wind. As the wind picked up we saw nice views of accipiters, red-shouldered hawks and American kestrels. Unfortunatley the wind also brought in a rolling mountain of fog. After standing above a sea of fog, we decided to call it in early. Even after a short day, we had great hawk numbers and an impressive species count.

Total Sightings: 237
Hours Counted: 3.75
HPH: 63.2
Total Species: 9

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 58
Osprey: 1
Northern Harrier: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 12
Cooper's Hawk: 27
Red-shouldered Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 117
American Kestrel: 8
Peregrine Falcon: 1

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014  
Posted by: Matt Delgado

Today was a hot day, but Wed II toughed out the heat in order to see some really neat birds. Some of the more interesting species we saw up on the hill today were not actually raptors. Some time just before noon we had a flurry of acorn woodpeckers fly by Hawk Hill to the north. We also saw a purple martin and many many Vaux's swifts. Our raptor front wasn't too bad either with many more adult red-tailed hawks and our first confirmed merlin of the Hawkwatch season!

Keep the ball rolling Thurs II,

Matt

Total Sightings: 191
Hours Counted: 5.17
HPH: 36.75
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 67
Osprey: 2
White-tailed Kite: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 7
Cooper's Hawk: 20
Red-shouldered Hawk: 6
Red-tailed Hawk: 74
American Kestrel: 5
Merlin: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 4
Falcon: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014  
Posted by: Phoebe Parker-Shames Kris Vanesky

After a slow start to our Hawkwatch adventure, we were surprised by a far off sighting of a Swainson's hawk (thanks to the return of hawkwatcher, Tim Behr, who has been out with a knee injury). As the hours crept on, we got an incredible view of some juvenile Northern Harriers and the crescent-shaped wing windows of a Red-shouldered hawk. By far, the highlight of the day was the first sighting of the year, of a magnifiscent Ferrugious hawk. The three points of light, the white wing patches and white tail coverts, were shining brightly in the sun as the raptor slowly flew over us. Over all it was a fantastic day full of beautiful birds and wonderful people.

Total Sightings: 218
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 36.33
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 95
Osprey: 1
Northern Harrier: 6
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 8
Red-shouldered Hawk: 2
Swainson's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 91
Ferruginous Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 3
Peregrine Falcon: 2

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, September 08, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Bradshaw and Kate Owens

While the day was hawk poor, it was rich with sun and friends. Everyone enjoyed some macadamia products and mused over the effectiveness of skywriting. We were granted a long look at an osprey packing a lunch overhead and an extended gander at the belly of a juvenile Peregrine falcon which, after circling around for a bit, folded up and made a beeline for the city.

Total Sightings: 131
Hours Counted: 5.67
HPH: 23.1
Total Species: 8

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 61
Osprey: 3
Northern Harrier: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 59
American Kestrel: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, September 07, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Bradshaw and Matt Delgado

Move over, Saturday I because Sunday I has swept the new total sightings count and species diversity, made possible by an (almost) complete falcon sweep (Prairie, Peregrine, and kestrel) and a slew of adult Red-shouldered hawks! We also had a close encounter of the helicopter kind which was both loud and VERY LOW. A last-minute White-tailed kite spotted overhead tipped us up to 11 total species and there was much high-fiving to be had. We left the hill having honored our Turkey Vultures by counting them 147 times. Happy belated World Vulture Day! So let's all go home and pat our sunburned backs about having the new best day of the season! MORE TO COME?



Total Sightings: 329
Hours Counted: 5.75
HPH: 57.22
Total Species: 11

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 147
Osprey: 8
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 2
Cooper's Hawk: 15
Red-shouldered Hawk: 6
Red-tailed Hawk: 131
American Kestrel: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 3
Prairie Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 5
Buteo: 4
Raptor: 2

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, September 06, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Bradshaw and Kris Vanesky

Today was brimming with both volunteers and raptors. What began as an overcast day turned into one of glorious, unbridled, joyous sunlight. We began this season's Hawk Talk and Banding demonstration schedule with an attentive crowd, nearby Red-tailed hawks, and the release of a freshly banded juvenile male Cooper's Hawk. We celebrated World Vulture Day by counting 138 Turkey Vulture sightings, some as distant tipsy smudges, and others with their tomato-red naked heads not so far from ours. One volunteer reported having heard the wind whistling through their feathers as they passed overhead.



Total Sightings: 290
Hours Counted: 5.92
HPH: 48.99
Total Species: 8

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 138
Osprey: 6
White-tailed Kite: 3
Northern Harrier: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 17
Red-tailed Hawk: 113
American Kestrel: 2

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, September 05, 2014  
Posted by: Phoebe Parker-Shames

The day started out a little cloudy, but eventually cleared up and gave us a good day of hawkwatching that turned downright exciting at the end. We saw a mini kettle of Red-tailed hawks, watched Red-tailed pair-bonding rituals, and got some great close views of a male kestrel and juvenile Red-tailed hawks. Most exciting of all, in the last half-hour we saw two Golden Eagles and two Peregrine Falcons within the same minute.

Total Sightings: 260
Hours Counted: 5.75
HPH: 45.22
Total Species: 7

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 146
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 96
Golden Eagle: 2
American Kestrel: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 7

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, September 04, 2014  
Posted by: Matt Delgado

Whoo! It was a foggy, windy, cold, and low bird count day, but Thursday I prevailed. On a good note we did get great looks a juvenile Cooper's hawk with a very full crop.

Good luck Friday I
-Matt D

Total Sightings: 115
Hours Counted: 5.75
HPH: 20
Total Species: 6

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 66
Osprey: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 3
Cooper's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 41
American Kestrel: 1

Unidentified...
Buteo: 2

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014  
Posted by: Phoebe Parker-Shames and Kris Vanesky

Today was an excellent skill building day. Everyone on the team had a chance to look at and try to identify a number of different exciting birds. we saw the Golden Gate Bridge Peregrines, plus an extra, and even got a few nice looks at Northern Harriers. One quadrant even got to watch a Red-tailed Hawk attacking a Northern Harrier. Perhaps the best highlight of the day, however, was the surprising number of Golden Eagles we saw over the course of the day. We watched them take their time soaring along, and got a great view of different tail molts. We also got a very early-season sighting: someone dressed as Santa Claus in the parking lot below.

Total Sightings: 141
Hours Counted: 5
HPH: 28.2
Total Species: 6

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 90
Northern Harrier: 6
Red-tailed Hawk: 32
Golden Eagle: 4
American Kestrel: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Falcon: 1
Raptor: 3

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014  
Posted by: Matt Delgado

Belated update for Tues, Sept 2: Fogged out! Weather did a full 180 from Monday's perfect blue skies; the fog never quite lifted. Here's to a better tomorrow!

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, September 01, 2014  
Posted by: Matt Delgado

It was a bright and sunny day for MON I. While we did have a nearly constant W wind, our day was relatively slow. All of us were hoping to see Sat IIs prairie falcon, but we we not as fortunate. However, we did see quite a spectacle of adult red-tailed hawks defending their territory, from what I presume was a migratory adult red-tail, all of this just before we ended our count for today! It gave some of our newer hawkwatchers and visitors the opportunity to hear that iconic bald eagle scream from the commercials, that we all know is actually your local red-tailed hawk.

Good luck Tues II and remember to bring plenty of water and sunscreen!

Total Sightings: 135
Hours Counted: 5.75
HPH: 23.48
Total Species: 6

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 66
Osprey: 2
Cooper's Hawk: 6
Red-tailed Hawk: 50
American Kestrel: 5
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Raptor: 5

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, August 31, 2014  
Posted by: Kate Owens

Good day up on hawk hill, the weather was great, almost 80 degrees! We saw a juvenile golden eagle, although from a good distance was still a beautiful bird. We also had quite a good show of kestrels dancing across the hill.

Total Sightings: 145
Hours Counted: 3.62
HPH: 40.06
Total Species: 7

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 90
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 2
Cooper's Hawk: 8
Red-tailed Hawk: 34
Golden Eagle: 1
American Kestrel: 7

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1
Raptor: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, August 30, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Bradshaw and Phoebe Parker-Shames

We kicked off the Labor Day weekend in style, with raptors aplenty, sunshine, sunburns and lots of hats being ripped off by the wind. Truly the perfect formula for the perfect birding day. We got a glimpse of some specks that ended up being our two large falcons--Prairie and Peregrine--and a slightly smaller speck that was our American kestrel for the day. We looked at Red-tailed hawks from just about every angle and a juvenile Red-shouldered hawk treated us to a spectacular back-lit fly-over!

Total Sightings: 169
Hours Counted: 4.17
HPH: 40.53
Total Species: 9

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 74
Osprey: 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 3
Cooper's Hawk: 2
Red-shouldered Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 74
American Kestrel: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 1
Prairie Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Buteo: 4
Falcon: 1
Raptor: 4

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, August 29, 2014  
Posted by: Kris Vanesky

We climbed the hill with views of beautiful blue skies, but alas, as we reached the top, the fog came rolling in. The fog refused to lift again for us today, but we had a wonderful time hanging out as a hawkwatch team. Hopefully tomorrow will bring back the blue skies.

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, August 28, 2014  
Posted by: Phoebe Parker-Shames and Bridget Bradshaw

We ascended the hill in the hopes that our presence would burn the fog away. Unfortunately, this did not happen, and we spent a lot of time gazing hopefully into the fog. We got some nice long views of perched Red-tailed hawks, but that was the most exciting part of the day. Next time you're out on Hawk Hill, take the time to look at the new wing span tapes!

Total Sightings: 57
Hours Counted: 3.25
HPH: 17.54
Total Species: 3

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 38
Red-tailed Hawk: 18
American Kestrel: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014  
Posted by: Kate Owens

Today was a gorgeous day up on the hill! Sunny and lovely, if a little windy. We had a good deal of kestrel action early in the day, and were lucky enough to see a few cooper's hawks as well, as always the usual suspects of red tails and turkey vultures.

Total Sightings: 149
Hours Counted: 3.5
HPH: 42.6
Total Species: 6

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 63
Northern Harrier: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 5
Red-tailed Hawk: 67
American Kestrel: 6

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014  
Posted by: Phoebe Parker-Shames

It was a gloriously sunny (and slightly breezy) day, so we had good visibility for a nice day of hawk watching. We saw four ospreys, and one white-tailed kite flew right over the hill so we could get a closer look at this "flying angel" as one of the hawkwatchers called it. However, the highlight of the day was probably the Golden Eagle that went soaring over the ridge. The biggest disappointment of the day was when we saw a Northern Harrier as we were walking up to the hill, which meant we couldn't count it.

Total Sightings: 115
Hours Counted: 3.5
HPH: 32.86
Total Species: 7

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 64
Osprey: 4
White-tailed Kite: 2
Cooper's Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 30
Golden Eagle: 1
American Kestrel: 3

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, August 25, 2014  
Posted by: Kate Owens

Beautiful sunny day! Although a little slow, we were lucky enough to see an osprey, but no prairie falcons yet. Better luck tomorrow!

Total Sightings: 108
Hours Counted: 5
HPH: 21.6
Total Species: 6

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 52
Osprey: 1
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 2
Cooper's Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 47

Unidentified...
Buteo: 2

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, August 24, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Bradshaw and Matt Delgado

Upon summiting Hawk Hill we were immediately serenaded by a man with a ukelele and the day only got better from there! Everyone doused themselves with sunscreen and settled in for a long day of being barraged with Red-tailed Hawks. No matter how experienced a hawkwatcher you may be, an up-close look at the belly of a Red-tailed Hawk is a lovely sight. We were also treated to a high-altitude boxing match between a Cooper's Hawk and a Northern Harrier. Not sure who won, as they disappeared into the clouds. No sight of our resident bridge Peregrines but had a few American Kestrels go whizzing by. Still have our eyes on the horizon for the season's first Prarie. We'll pass it to you, Monday II. Sunday I out.

Total Sightings: 172
Hours Counted: 3.5
HPH: 49.14
Total Species: 8

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 101
Osprey: 2
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 2
Cooper's Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 53
American Kestrel: 3

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, August 23, 2014  
Posted by: Kris Vanesky Bridget Bradshaw

It was a bright and beautiful day on top of Hawk Hill! We had a wonderful sighting of a dark morph Red-tail Juvenile. A definite increase in hawks per hour over the week. We are hoping that the fog stays away, so we can have more great hawk watch days!

Total Sightings: 130
Hours Counted: 4.25
HPH: 30.59
Total Species: 5

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 78
Cooper's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 43
American Kestrel: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 1

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, August 22, 2014  
Posted by: Phoebe Parker-Shames

Another typical day in "Fogust": We managed to get out for a couple of hours as the fog briefly lifted before the winds blew us off the hill. We practiced identifying different landmarks in the area and got very excited at every Turkey Vulture we saw. The one Red-tailed Hawk we saw spent a long time "stilling" over the slope of the hill, using an updraft to hold itself in the same position in the air while it scanned the area. Our dayleader Kim used this bird as an opportunity to explain his theory that juvenile and adult Red-tailed Hawks look different when they still because juvenile wings are thinner and have less fine control, so they end up moving their wings to stay in place, while the adults can control their position using only their wingtips. The highlight of the day for me was when I saw an American Kestrel suddenly pop up over the ridge and go zooming over the hill. Overall, not an incredibly exciting day, but definitely better than nothing.

Total Sightings: 21
Hours Counted: 1.5
HPH: 14
Total Species: 4

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 18
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 1
American Kestrel: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, August 21, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Bradshaw

Today was a great day for Hawkwatch this early in the season. While we didn't get up on the hill till 11 or so, our count exponentially increased as the day went on. Some of todays raptor highlights included this seasons first northern harriers (marsh hawks), Cooper's hawks, and a female kestrel. Hopefully the season continues on an upward curve and we break some records...though we still need our early season prairie falcon, so good luck tomorrow Friday I.
-Thur I

Total Sightings: 96
Hours Counted: 4
HPH: 24
Total Species: 6

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 57
Northern Harrier: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 25
American Kestrel: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 4
Buteo: 3

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014  
Posted by: Kris Vanesky

Sporadic fog and clearing. We saw quite a few Turkey Vultures along with adult and juvenile Red-tailed Hawks, and an unidentificable accipiter. We had our first official migrant species with the sighting of a Sharp-shinned Hawk! Weird first time event on Hawk Hill, a two foot diameter drone was flown over Kirby Cove, several hundred feet East of Hawk Hill.

Total Sightings: 38
Hours Counted: 3
HPH: 12.67
Total Species: 3

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 28
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 8

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014  
Posted by: Laura Young

Belated update for Tue, Aug 19! Fog lifted just enough in late morning and hawkwatchers were able to get the official first counts of 2014 fall migration. 23 sightings in 2.5 hours. Fog descended again in early afternoon.

Total Sightings: 23
Hours Counted: 2.5
HPH: 9.2
Total Species: 2

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 18
Red-tailed Hawk: 5

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, August 18, 2014  
Posted by: Bridget Bradshaw and Matthew Delgato

First day of the season! Unfortunately fogged out, but took a leisurely stroll around the lagoon. Highlights included Belted kingfisher getting attacked by an angry Scrub jay, a RTHA, RSHA, Wilson's warblers, Western grebes, and a handful of Western bluebirds. Here's to a less foggy tomorrow!

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

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.


Contact Information

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