HSR: Holiday Beach (28 Oct 2002) Raptor counts (total=1331)

reports at hawkcount.org reports at hawkcount.org
Tue Oct 29 18:38:51 EST 2002


Holiday Beach Migration Observatory
Essex County, ON, Canada
Daily Raptor Counts: Oct 28, 2002
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Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Turkey Vulture             918          20924          21154
Osprey                       0             30            102
Bald Eagle                   1             27             37
Northern Harrier            10            361            612
Sharp-shinned Hawk          27           3746           7285
Cooper's Hawk                9            309            357
Northern Goshawk             2             25             29
Red-shouldered Hawk          6            356            360
Broad-winged Hawk            0             13           4886
Red-tailed Hawk            351           2799           2878
Rough-legged Hawk            1             14             14
Golden Eagle                 5             31             32
American Kestrel             1            741           2012
Merlin                       0             26             91
Peregrine Falcon             0             41             57
Unknown                      0             44             56

Total:                    1331          29487          39962
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Observation start time: 08:00:00 
Observation end   time: 17:00:00 
Total observation time: 9 hours

Site Coordinator: Nancy Tar

Observers:        Doris Applebaum, Mike Forton

Weather:
Cold day, began at 4 C and topped out at a fab 7 C
Steady winds NNE all day  between 4 and 10 mph
Full cloud cover till afternoon, then partly sunny to no clouds 

Observations:
We had a very dark buteo, with a lighter throat/chest we thought it was a
Harlan's hawk rather that a dark phase juvenile, we were using Sibley's,
three of us saw it clearly with 10x50 binoculars (we all had 10x50's)

We have been trying to count crows accurately because of  West Nile virus. 
In Oakland county MI, we are almost devoid of crows and blue jays.  I only
see single birds of both species now and rarely.

Predictions:
Falling baromater, NNE winds again, rain coming late in day.  Should be
cloudy all day.
========================================================================
Report submitted by Nancy Tar (tchipe at aol.com)
Holiday Beach Migration Observatory information may be found at:
http://hbmo.org/


Holiday Beach Migration Observatory

Information on southern Ontario\'s hawk migration and the Holiday Beach
Conservation Area site
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Southwestern Ontario is largely an area of flat, featureless farmland. There
are only two geographic features of note in the region. One is the proximity
of the Great lakes, which influence bird migration in the area to a great
extent, The second is the shape of the province, roughly funnel-shaped with
the narrow end to the southwest. These features confine south-bound bird
migrants, especially hawks, to specific flight corridors.

Holiday Beach Conservation Area was formerly a Provincial Park, but is now
administered by the Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA). It is
strategically located at the extreme southwestern tip of southern Ontario.
The park is on the eastern end of a large freshwater estuary known as Big
Creek. (Specifically the site is 1.1 miles south of the junction Highway 20
(old 18) and Essex Road 50, Town of Amherstburg).

The Holiday Beach Migration Observatory (HBMO) (founded in 1986) is a
non-profit, volunteer organization formed to promote the study and
protection of migrating birds. Activities focus primarily on fall migration
of raptors and other species. This site is in Essex County, Ontario, on the
north shore of Lake Erie near the Detroit River. In 1988, HBMO persuaded
Detroit Edison to donate a 40 foot Hawk Tower which is now at the site.

Southwestern Ontario has a funneling effect on migrating raptors due to the
geography of the nearby lakes and the reluctance of most raptors to cross
large bodies of water. Birds gain altitude over the flat farmland to the
north and east, rising easily with the thermals that such areas provide in
abundance. As the birds head south they meet Lake Erie and, reluctant to
cross it , turn west. With appropriate wind and weather conditions, birds
pile up along the lake shore and move west until they reach the narrow
crossing at the Detroit River (or island hop within the river mouth).




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