Hawkwatch 3-6 September 2016

The past few days of the hawkwatch have been filled with great winds and varying skies. The recent tropical storm affected our shoreline considerably less than had been planned. The prevailing post-front winds have left many raptors north of us with a tail wind.

Yesterday's (September 6th) flight of raptors left us in awe. Shortly after daybreak American Kestrels and Osprey were flapping over the horizon. As the northwest winds continued throughout the day broken streams of American Kestrels formed to the north and west. On three different occasions a total of 8 kestrels were seen in a single binocular view! A total of 471 American Kestrels were counted yesterday. It's so great to see the force of raptor migration taking place.

American Kestrels are declining through a considerable portion of their range. Choosing organically-grown groceries and planting native plants in our yards (big and small) can help American Kestrels as this species feeds on large insects like dragonflies which benefit from native plants. Do you have native plants in your yard?

We saw a few American Kestrels eating on the wing as they brought their dragonfly-filled talons up to their beaks while flying by. There are many days to come with kestrels and so many other raptors. This fall's raptor migration is just beginning... Stop on by the hawkwatch platform and see what is flying through the beautiful skies of Cape May!

Below is the day count for September 6, 2016

American Kestrel at daybreak. Look at those beautiful colors and sharp wings!

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