Monday, April 05, 2004

April 4 was a great day for a hawkwatch here in Tlacotalpan Veracruz.
I observed a total of 13 raptor species 10 of which were migrating. I made a rather rustic tally board to record the previous days totals as well as the totals for the season. I focused on the nine most observed species.
Today I observed some nice movements of mississippi kites and was able to digiscope several of their flight postures.
There was some nice pushes of Broad-winged hawks in the a.m. To give you a sense of the numbers, I have taken this digital photo of the migrating broadwings and enlarged it to place a small yellow dot over each broad-wing hawk. The photo shows what Malcom Hodges aptly refers to as "sky pepper" There are over 500 broad-winged hawks in this photo. in this particular stream/kettle I counted over 2,000 broad-winged hawks in a matter of 20 minutes!
I got a bit of help with the hawkwatch yesterday from Jonathan and Jose, two local kids who have displayed an early interest in raptors migration. They helped for a couple of hours spotting and entering data.

All said and done and great day, 9,725 raptors counted for the day. Here is the breakdown:
Turkey Vulture 9
Osprey 15
Mississippi Kites 391
Sharp-shinned hawks 5
Cooper's Hawks 6
Broad-winged hawks 9,251
Swainson's hawks 31
American kestrel 10
Peregrine falcon 1
Unidentified 6
Total count as of April 2nd........21,605

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