I write this letter on a day where hawkwatching, well birdwatching in general is far from the mind considering the forecasted temperature is in the mid-90’s with a heat index over triple digits Fahrenheit. Perfect day to recall the wonderful days last fall during the 2012 count!
It has been a little over 8 months since the picnic – but I would be remiss if I did not mention the awesome American Kestrel sheet cake we enjoyed for dessert and the lovely picture that can be found on the Wyncote Audubon Society website of said cake!
Beside the photos – there is a wonderful recap of the count totals stretching back to the beginning in 1988! We currently stand at 274,133 migrating raptors counted – what an amazing thing!
2012 stands out in many ways – including the highest season total ever of 24,085 (previous best was 2012 with 22,072).
Additional Highlights for Militia Hill in Fall 2012 include:
- Most Bald Eagle in count history – 175 (previous high in 2011 at 116) This includes a new daily high count of 19.
- Most Cooper’s Hawk at 200 (previous high 197 in 2011)
- Most Peregrine Falcon at 42 (previous high 41 in 2009 – last four years have seen historic highs in comparison to the usual average – hopefully a good sign for the peregrine).
- Tied all-time high for Golden Eagle at 7 (this matches the high count in 1995) including 1 of the 7 in September!
Additionally – we had a great Broad-winged Hawk year……..
As mentioned we set an all-time season record at 24,085 – this includes a single season high for BW at 20,550. 57% of this species individual total passed through on 9/15 (1959), 9/16 (6420) and 9/17 (5336) – carrying through to 9/23 we had 15,404 by then which is 75% of our total for the year in 2012.
It’s always tough to follow the best year ever – but I am looking forward to seeing everyone at the Hill in the very near future!
Enjoy the rest of the summer!
MHHW Site Co-Coordinator