Daily Hawk Count

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Sunday, December 01, 2019

By Paula Eberle

"Dear Hawkwatchers, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole migration to be watched for whatever reason you deemed fit, but we think you're crazy for wanting us to fly close so you can tell us who we are. You see us as you want to see us, in the simplest terms, in the most convenient identifications. But what we found out, is that in each one of us is a Sharpie, and a Merlin, and a Red-tailed Hawk, a Roughie, and a Turkey Vulture. Does that answer your ID datasheet? Sincerely yours, The Raptor Club." Signing out for an awesome season! From all of us to you, we wish everyone happy holidays and many more raptor filled days!

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

Saturday, November 30, 2019

By Paula Eberle & Emma Regnier

As the Saturday II team was preparing to leave for Hawk Hill, we felt small droplets of rain on our faces. Moments later, the droplets became a drizzle, so we dashed back inside the office to seek shelter. With the rain showing no signs of letting up, we decided to have our end of the season potluck inside! Despite the dismal weather, everyone had a great time reflecting on the season's highlights and sharing the delicious dishes brought by our amazing team members. We wish tomorrow's team better weather and thanks for a great hawkwatching season!

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

Friday, November 29, 2019

By Paula Eberle

The rain came down throughout the Bay Area today, but Hawk Hill remained dry, almost as if the clouds knew it was the Friday II team's last day. While temperatures were low, spirits were high and warm food filled our bellies from the annual potluck. With the migration season wrapping up, the flight was a slow one, yet we still had many views of Northern Harriers hunting around the hill. Two sightings of adult male Northern Harriers were had today, with these "grey ghosts" floating silently along the hillsides and even over the water. The highlight of the day came from two adult Peregrine Falcons. We first saw one, dive bombing an adult Red-tailed Hawk just off the South Platform. It then flew up into the sky and was joined by the second adult, before they both passed low over the team, one after the other. The day ended on a more solemn note, as some of our Hawkwatchers had their last day on the hill today, but we are excited to see what adventures they end up on next. Good luck for the last two teams of the season! We will see you next year.

Total Sightings: 105
Hours Counted: 5.25
HPH: 20
Total Species: 7

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 28
Northern Harrier: 14
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 51
American Kestrel: 3
Peregrine Falcon: 4

Unidentified...
Raptor: 1
Total unidentified: 1

Thursday, November 28, 2019

By Jeremy Pallant and Maggie Brown

It was a frigid Thanksgiving hawkwatch, with wind chills bottoming out in the low 30s and a stiff breeze all morning. The birds were feeling the cold temperatures too, as few raptors were on the move. Perhaps it was apt that about a third of the birds we saw today were Turkey Vultures, including a flyby from our resident with tag number 368. We also saw a number of Northern Harriers, including two adult females. Though our count numbers were low, we still enjoyed our morning on the hill and the Thursday II team is sad to see the season come to a close. We wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving, filled with great food and even better company!

Total Sightings: 43
Hours Counted: 2.5
HPH: 17.2
Total Species: 3

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 15
Northern Harrier: 6
Red-tailed Hawk: 22

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

By Emma Regnier & Veronica Pedraza & Jeremy Pallant

With dark rain clouds looming all around us, the Wednesday II team kept one eye on the hawks and one eye on the clouds as we started our final hawkwatch count for the season. An hour after we began, the rain finally caught up to us, so we packed up and drove back to the GGRO office. But sunshine poking through the clouds gave us new hope, and sure enough the rain had moved on just in time for lunch. We reassembled the team and returned to Hawk Hill to resume counting. When we arrived, two adult Peregrine Falcons and an adult Red-tailed Hawk greeted us with daring displays of aerial acrobatics! In the mid-afternoon, an adult male Northern Harrier was spotted below Rocky Ridge, foraging alongside an adult female. Raptor activity slowed down by the end of the count, but we were happy to be back on the hill in the sunshine nonetheless. The Wednesday II team is grateful for our resilient team members and looks forward to more raptors next fall!

Total Sightings: 98
Hours Counted: 4.5
HPH: 21.78
Total Species: 7

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 38
Northern Harrier: 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 2
Cooper's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 40
American Kestrel: 3
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 2
Buteo: 4
Total unidentified: 6

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