HSR: Holiday Beach (08 Sep 2003) Raptor counts (total=405)

reports at hawkcount.org reports at hawkcount.org
Mon Sep 8 08:09:03 EDT 2003

Holiday Beach Migration Observatory
Essex County, Ontario, Canada
Daily Raptor Counts: Sep 08, 2003

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Turkey Vulture               1              7              7
Osprey                       6             12             12
Bald Eagle                   3              8              8
Northern Harrier            22             40             40
Sharp-shinned Hawk         192            355            355
Cooper's Hawk                3              9              9
Northern Goshawk             0              0              0
Red-shouldered Hawk          0              0              0
Broad-winged Hawk           20             27             27
Red-tailed Hawk              9             11             11
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              0              0
American Kestrel           147            195            195
Merlin                       1              8              8
Peregrine Falcon             1              1              1
Unknown                      0              3              3

Total:                     405            676            676

Observation start time: 07:15:00 
Observation end   time: 16:00:00 
Total observation time: 8.75 hours

Official Counter: Nancy Tar

Observers:        Doris Applebaum, Fred Urie, Jim Crozier, none

17.5ºC - 27.8ºC with fog early clearing to mostly sunny. Winds starting at
7 mph from the NE, mid-day 8 mph and out of the N, ending 7 mph from the


Big monarch butterfly migration day. We counted 1,363 monarchs!
Report submitted by Nancy Tar (tchipe at aol.com)
Holiday Beach Migration Observatory information may be found at:

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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