Hawk Count Halfway Point Roundup

May is here and the hawk count at Whitefish Point is just past the halfway point. Snowdrifts are suddenly difficult to find, even in the deep woods, and with gradually warming weather has come a clear turnover in the species composition tallied here each day. Red-shouldered Hawks have vanished and Golden Eagles, formerly found nearly […]

Incredible Migration at the Hawk Deck!

Action on the hawk deck has completely exploded in the past week! With the arrival of our first Ospreys on the 19th, Broad-wings on the 22nd, and the thrilling addition of Swainson’s Hawk on the 24th, we’ve now detected all of the raptor species one expects in a spring season here at Whitefish Point. This spectacular […]

Waterbird Numbers Increasing

The waterbird count has been picking up steam over the last week with several new arrivals in just the last few days. Today (April 24) we saw the first Caspian Terns of the season and the first White-winged Scoter. Numbers of other species have been picking up too, such as Red-necked Grebe, 79 of which […]

Weekend explosion of migrants!

Toward the end of last week, after a taste of warm, springy, sun-filled days, Whitefish Point got hit with a few of north winds so strong they shook my shack as I huddled in it for hours. Unsurprisingly, very few birds tried to migrate into such a strong headwind. Any bird smaller than an Eagle was bounced […]

Signs of Spring!

Since my last post things have begun really heating up at the point! In the past week three new raptors have been added to our season totals. March 29th brought a pair of Rough-legged Hawks, and the first Turkey Vulture finally appeared on the 30th. Surprisingly, after their first arrival for the count being a […]

A slow and steady March toward spring

March, as I have been learning firsthand, can be a rather hit-or-miss time on the hawk deck. Diurnal migration is highly dependent on prevailing weather conditions, especially when it comes to early season short-distance migrants. The best conditions for a strong hawk flight here are warm, sunny days, with moderate southwest winds. Or so I’ve been […]

Hawk count beginnings

I’ve just finished my third day as the WPBO hawk counter — what a fun job! Despite the mere trickle of raptors so far, I’ve been having a fantastic time spending my days up on the hawk deck. The first raptor of my season didn’t come until the second day, but it was worth the […]

Fall 2016 Waterbird Count Summary

The 2016 fall waterbird count was a record breaker! In terms of waterbird species, we broke the previous record of 80, with a season total of 82. In terms of numbers, we had the second highest count with 111,126. The major highlights of the count consisted of Ancient Murrelet, an eider, two Ruddy Ducks, Red […]