Hawkwatch - Saturday, September 1, 2018

Today marks the first day of the 2018 fall Cape May Hawk Watch. The drive and passion of Cape May Bird Observatory and New Jersey Audubon come together every fall to study the migration of birds. It's amazing to think of the Cape May Hawk Watch continuing for its 42nd year! There is so much information that we have learned and so many venues to which we can apply conservation efforts to help these amazing birds and the habitats they live in.

Every day at the Cape May Hawk Watch is a little different. Different raptors migrate through and different weather conditions affect the flow of birds on a daily and even hourly basis. Today's sustained east winds and afternoon showers put migration to the test, and the raptors pushed through with great diversity. A total of 10 raptor species were observed today as were so many beautiful songbirds of many var. The morning hours produced views of nearly a thousand Bobolinks flying high overhead. Ospreys stole the show with their close flights and larger numbers (which will be increasing in the weeks to come). Four Broad-winged Hawks soared their way through the northern viewing limits of the hawk watch, while a Northern Harrier patrolled low over the wetland habitat to the east.

It's an honor and thrill to return to Cape May to count the raptor migration this fall. I'm really looking forward to sharing these experiences with you in the months to come both through this blog and while scanning for birds with you at the hawk watch platform. The naturalists are delighted to welcome all of you and teach you fun things at the hawk watch. Hope to see you at the Cape May Hawk Watch this fall!

-Erik Bruhnke

Immature Bald Eagle soaring overhead.

One of the many Ruby-throated Hummingbirds today.

Great Blue Heron feeding among the Tree Swallow frenzy.

Today's sightings.

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