April 29, 2004
Spring Hawk Watch 2004
Some four hundred and fifteen years ago in the small Plaza that is now called Plaza Doña Marta, the documents were signed designating Tlacotalpan a pueblo.
Tlacotalpan means "land between sky and water"
The Mexican writer Elena Poniatowska once remarked "When I want to smile, I remember Tlacotalpan; when you pronounce the word Tla-co-tal-pan, it's as though you wash your face and laughter comes in."
There is alot of history here in in Tlacotalpan. Today another small bit of history was added. In the course of the afternoon, thousands of Mississippi kites streamed over the Plaza Doña Marta (6,333 Mississippi kites were counted today), it was during that time (when a group of tourists from Germany wandered through the plaza)) that we passed the 100,000 mark for the number of raptors counted in in 28 consecutive days here at the spring hawk watch.
As I reflect on the events of this month, I indeed feel fortunate to live in this special place and to have been witness to this spring raptor migration phenomenon.
I doubt that there are few spring hawk watch sites that offer this diversity, 17 species of migrating raptor species have been observed. In addition, 8 local resident raptor species were observed; Gray-headed kite, Black vulture, Snail kite, Common black hawk, Great black hawk, Crested caracara, Aplomado Falcon, Roadside hawk.
This adds up to a total of 25 raptor species in 28 days!
TV Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)......34
OS Osprey (Pandion haliaeetus).....9
MK Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis).....6,333
NH Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)....1
SS Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus).....5
CH Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperi)......3
BW Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus).....835
SW Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni).....33
AK American Kestrel (Falco sparverius).....1
ML Merlin (Falco columbarius).......0
PG Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus).......28
MONTH TOTAL.....101,063From Tlacotalpan, Veracruz