Daily Hawk Count

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

By Paula Eberle

Another beautiful day out on Hawk Hill! The strong winds from the West blew in some interesting birds throughout the afternoon. Between a flurry of young Red-Tailed Hawks and a few elusive Cooper's Hawks, we spotted an Osprey cruising across the North Quadrant. One of Hawk Hill's celebrity tagged Turkey Vultures, number 368, breezed by the Hawkwatchers up close and personal. The distressed calls from a juvenile Red-Tailed Hawk hinted us to our first sighting this season of an adult Golden Eagle, circling over the Golden Gate Bridge. The whole team was able to get eyes on this large raptor and marvel at how it dwarfed the nearby Red-Tailed Hawks. Within the same hour, another enormous bird soared into view and flashed its white tail and primaries, indicative of yet another Golden Eagle, this time a juvenile. By the end of the day our Hawkwatch team had doubled in size, and every in between cardinal direction was covered. Thanks to everyone who came out today!

Total Sightings: 131
Hours Counted: 5
HPH: 26.2
Total Species: 6

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 48
Osprey: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 4
Red-tailed Hawk: 73
Golden Eagle: 2
American Kestrel: 1

Unidentified...
Buteo: 1
Raptor: 1
Total unidentified: 2

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

By Maggie Brown

Today was a hot day on Hawk Hill! The birds must have thought so too since we had a pretty slow morning. Raptor activity picked up in the early afternoon as the ocean breeze swept in. Thanks to the clear skies all day long we were able to count raptors in all quadrants, especially the South and East. While we saw plenty of our usual guests around the hill, such as Turkey Vultures and Red-tailed Hawks, we also counted several Cooper's Hawks, a Sharp-shinned Hawk, and a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk. We were all taken by surprise when a brilliant adult Ferruginous Hawk appeared in our East Quadrant and soared above the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge for over 30 minutes! It is unusual to see an adult Ferruginous Hawk this early in the season, so it was an exciting surprise for our third day of hawkwatching!

Total Sightings: 88
Hours Counted: 5
HPH: 17.6
Total Species: 6

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 44
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 6
Red-shouldered Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 30
Ferruginous Hawk: 1

Unidentified...
Buteo: 1
Raptor: 4
Total unidentified: 5

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

By Emma Regnier

Another day of sunshine and mainly clear skies up on Hawk Hill! We started off the day right with two Osprey – the first of the season – spotted right as we began our count. A handful of Turkey Vultures and Red-tailed Hawks were spotted each hour, and one young Cooper's Hawk even treated us to a close flyover. We saw one juvenile Northern Harrier, one juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk, and two female American Kestrels (the first kestrels of the season!), but the real highlight of the afternoon was a White-tailed Kite! The migration is already off to a terrific start this year!

Total Sightings: 105
Hours Counted: 5
HPH: 21
Total Species: 8

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 64
Osprey: 2
White-tailed Kite: 1
Northern Harrier: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 7
Red-shouldered Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 26
American Kestrel: 2

Unidentified...
Raptor: 1
Total unidentified: 1

Monday, August 12, 2019

By Maggie Brown

Happy first day of the 2019 raptor migration season! We had a (mostly) clear day on Hawk Hill with plenty of sunshine, which allowed us to stay out and count birds all day. We started off the season counting many Turkey Vultures and Red-tailed Hawks, some Cooper's Hawks, a few Red-shouldered Hawks, and even a Northern Harrier! With the great enthusiasm of our volunteers and staff, we know that we have an awesome season ahead of us.

Total Sightings: 99
Hours Counted: 5
HPH: 19.8
Total Species: 5

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 64
Northern Harrier: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 9
Red-shouldered Hawk: 5
Red-tailed Hawk: 20

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