Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory

It only took two visits to Hawk Ridge to inspire poet Phil Fitzpatrick's love letter to raptors, the Ridge, and the staff and volunteers who make it all come alive.

Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren [via Flickr]

This week we are joined by John Richardson, Count Interpreter for the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory.  Hawk Ridge is gearing up for another season, and John reports that activity began picking up last week.  Many great birds have already been spotted, including common nighthawks, bald eagles, and broad-winged hawks.  Also they were delighted a few days ago to spot a black vulture!

©John P. Richardson. Used with permission.

Want to keep an eye on some of the earliest avian families in the Northland this spring?  Would you believe you'll be watching for Ring-billed Gulls?

Naturalist Clinton Nienhaus joins us with some of the best information on migration (and plenty of links): why is it happening, how can I follow along and where are the best places to see our new arrivals.  

Links:

©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

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.

Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory

Maybe it's not as warm as Hawk Ridge in September.

But Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory Count Interpreter John Richardson says it's a lot more exciting.

The counters are headquartered at Enger Tower for spring migration, and even if a piece of West Skyline Parkway is closed and you have to park and walk in,  Richardson says there are a lot of species to be seen.

©Tara Smith, Wildwoods. Used with permission.

A couple of sick, skinny peregrine falcons have been brought into Wildwoods Wildlife Rehabilitation recently ... one didn't live to be transported to The Raptor Center but the one pictured at left did.

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.

 

Hawk Ridge draws hundreds of visitors every fall to watch the raptors migrating south.  But where do they end up?

Gavin Schaefer/Flickr

Laura Erickson says no one who knows anything about real nighthawks would ever consider naming their sports team after them ... but Larry Weber has enjoyed watching their migration this week, anyway.

Plus he's been watching hawks migrate at Hawk Ridge,  thrilled to the hundreds of spider webs that showed up so clearly with foggy dewdrops on them and, of course, spent time appreciating "the fungus among us" after the rains.

Thorsburg Photography

Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory has been counting migrants on the ridge for two weeks already, the sun is setting before 8pm and reds and yellows are popping up in all kinds of trees and bushes.

Author and naturalist Larry Weber says goodbye to August and hello to autumn.