Sunday, September 21, 2014

Fun at the Hawkwatch

[A crimson sunrise at Cape May Point State Park. Photo by Tom Reed.]

It has been another fabulous week at the Hawkwatch.  We have been seeing large numbers of Osprey, Sharp-shinned Hawks, and American Kestrels.  September 18th was the highest count of the season so far, with a total of 1,235 migrating raptors.

[A beautiful Bald Eagle soaring above the Hawkatch. Photo by Tom Reed.]

A variety of ducks have started to show up on Bunker Pond, keeping visitors interested at times when the hawk flight isn't the best.  There have been many other non-raptor species making appearances as well.   We have seen a total of 157 species of birds from the platform so far this fall.

[An abundance of Northern Flickers were observed from the platform this week.  Photo by
Tom Reed.
[A Belted Kingfisher flew noisily around Bunker Pond.  Photo by Tom Reed.]

Cape May Raptor Banding Project has started their hawk banding demonstrations.  This weekend, visitors were able to see a Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, and American Kestrel in the hands of the banders. Monarch tagging demonstrations have also begun.  The Monarch Monitoring Project crew does an incredible job at educating and sharing their work with the public. Monarch tagging demonstrations take place at the State Park on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 2pm. Hawk banding demonstrations are at the State Park on Saturdays and Sundays at 10am, and at the Meadows on Saturdays at 11:30am.

[A stunning Monarch, newly tagged by the Monarch Monitoring Project.  Photo by
Emily Wilmoth.

The Seawatch officially starts tomorrow!  Be sure to get up to Avalon this season to witness large flocks of water birds migrating along the coast.  Just like the Hawkwatch, it is an amazing opportunity to admire birds, and appreciate the incredible journeys that they make.

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