Hawk Ridge

©John P. Richardson

If it doesn't rain tomorrow, the forecasted northwesterly winds could mean good bird-watching at Hawk Ridge.

The trick, says Count Director John Richardson, is to get there during the "golden hour/s," usually between 8:00 and 10:00am.

©John P. Richardson. Used with permission

Hawk-watchers were in "raptors" Sunday (see what we did there?) at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory with the capture of a leucistic red-tailed hawk.  Many people were on hand to see the bird in person, while others followed ... raptly (!) ... the Facebook page:

"In 30 years of banding hawks, the Banding Director Frank Nicoletti perhaps has only had one partially leucistic Red-tail before and certainly not to the extent this bird today was.

©John P. Richardson

The northwest winds we'll contend with today will be a nuisance everywhere but Hawk Ridge, where they'll drive migrating birds of prey right down into the waiting binoculars of the hawk counters.

Count Director and special guest star John Richardson joins us this morning to tell us more.

©Lisa Johnson

Larry Weber's not the kind of guy to waste time railing against Mother Nature.

That being said ...he's not always a huge fan of warmer temps.

For one thing, our overnight lows in the mid-to-upper 60s are around the normal daytime highs.

For another, the south winds responsible have dramatically dropped the raptor numbers over Hawk Ridge.

But the sky-watching conditions, at least, have been fabulous.

TexasEagle/Flickr

Larry talks about migration, day length, birds, bucks, frogs, goldenrod, spider webs, apples, berries and more but the gist of his program today can be summed up in two words:

Get outside.

©Steve Kolbe. Used with permission

August, announced Larry Weber this morning, is one of his 12 favorite months.

He talked migration at Hawk Ridge, where the counters are hard at work, the fabulousness of spiders, how a mayfly hatch is a good indicator of clean water, and how come he's the guy driving so slowly and gawking at the goldenrod by the side of the road.

Eclipse 2017/NASA

(Larry Weber doesn't get to be an expert naturalist by sitting on his couch.  But if he's doing to be on the road, once in a while, he's going to be without cell service.  That's what happened this morning, but Larry called in at 9:00am to apologize, to remind us that August is still awesome, to watch the Perseids this weekend, and that by the time he joins us next week, chances are Hawk Ridge wi

©Sparky Stensaas. Used with permission.

"I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw." ~ Wm. Shakespeare, "Hamlet"

Whether or not Hamlet had spent any time at Hawk Ridge is a question for another time, but experienced birders know a northwesterly wind is best for seeing birds at what has become an internationally-recognized place to see migration.

There are TWO opportunities this weekend to participate in a detailed look at the natural world in the Northland.  It is BioBlitz weekend at the Sax-Zim Bog and at Hawk Ridge.   The two events will allow the avid naturalist and outdoor enthusiast to explore familiar sites with greater detail.

Brenda Dobbs/Flickr

A thousand hawks migrating over Hawk Ridge, the leaves changing color - those are signs of the season that are easy to see.  But Larry Weber says if you're paying attention, you can find things like eyelash fungus on downed logs and something called pinwheel fungus that he's seen sprout out of a single pine needle!

In Larry's last report of the summer (next Thursday marks the equinox and the start of fall), he talks about the warmer- and wetter-than-average weather, glow worms, "beard fungus" and the joys of Hawk Ridge.

 

Bill Damon/Flickr

Larry Weber is perhaps the only person to get distracted from the pursuit of blackberries, just to watch insects enjoying goldenrod.