[Ontbirds]HSR: Holiday Beach (05 Oct 2004) 460 Raptors

reports at hawkcount.org reports at hawkcount.org
Wed Oct 6 07:10:07 EDT 2004

Holiday Beach Migration Observatory
Ontario, Canada
Daily Raptor Counts: Oct 05, 2004

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Turkey Vulture             334           1569           2805
Osprey                       0              2             71
Bald Eagle                   4              5             35
Northern Harrier             2              5            192
Sharp-shinned Hawk         105            348           4068
Cooper's Hawk                0             11             96
Northern Goshawk             1              1              1
Red-shouldered Hawk          0              1              7
Broad-winged Hawk            0              0          27842
Red-tailed Hawk             10             27            245
Rough-legged Hawk            0              1              1
Golden Eagle                 0              0              0
American Kestrel             3             49           1269
Merlin                       1             14             47
Peregrine Falcon             0              0             10
Unknown                      0              7             45

Total:                     460           2040          36734

Observation start time: 06:00:00 
Observation end   time: 15:00:00 
Total observation time: 9 hours

Official Counter: Jack Boxer

Observers:        Sylvia Telasco

Sunny, clear skies, low temperatures, North changing midday to South winds
marked today's count.

Turkey Vultures, Sharpies and a Goshawk were featured in the day's count.

Swarms of blackbirds and 21,500 Blue Jays
Report submitted by Bob Hall-Brooks (bhall-brooks at cogeco.ca)
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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