Broad Winged Hawk - photo from AllAboutBirds.org

Saturday,  September 17, this report came over the Ohio Birds Listserv.  I had to read it twice to make sure I was reading it right.  Posted by Richard Banish.

not ohio, but close

i hit Hawkfest this morning @ Lake Erie
Metro Park (20 min south of Detroit).

from 9:00 until I left at 3:30 there were around 30,000 raptors counted. many passing overhead easily seen
without optics. mostly broadies – but mix in baldies,
harriers, sharpies, ospreys and 3+ swainson’s.
a resident osprey thrilled the crowd twice
by catching a fish 50 yards upriver and
carrying the meal directly overhead. 

I can’t even imagine what this must have been like!  And then, Sunday, this report, from the same observer:

remember this is south of Detroit! numbers yesterday ended up at over 190,000!

there were 100,000-ish when i was there from
9:00 – 4:00. huge push after 4:00 with
big lines and kettles some totalling in the few thousands. FUN!

Detroit River Hawk Watch also reports:

After unstable weather between the 5th and part of September 9th, migration very slowly increased in volume due to passages occurring south of the count site, especially on the 15th and 16th. The peak of broad-winged hawk migration occurred on September 17th. The estimated sample of 190,121 broad-winged hawks represented the highest one-day total recorded at the Lake Erie Metropark boat launch since monitoring began in the 1980s with a previous high count there of 71,334 on September 17, 2002.

I went to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources web site for Lake Erie MetroPark to see just what is going on up there and found that this is a birding hotspot, especially in the fall when raptors are migrating.  The web site confirms that thousands are seen there every year with Hawkfest held in mid-September to celebrate the event (it was last weekend).  This is definitely going on my list as a trip I want to make next year!

In case you want to go too, visit the web site at Lake Erie Metropark  or go to www.metroparks.com and select Lake Erie Metropark.


About SallyK

A little blog about the ordinary and not so ordinary things our family does, places we travel, things we see. Like travel, cooking, family stories, book reviews, music? You will find it all here - comments welcome!
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2 Responses to Raptors!

  1. Reggie says:

    100,000 raptors?! Wow. I am quite speechless… That must have been an unforgettable sight. I hope you’ll get a chance to see it next year, Sally.

  2. buster banish says:

    it was cool!!
    richard buster banish

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