Late Spring Hawk Watch
at Tussey Mountain
April 23, 2006


The second two days that I visited the Tussey Mountain watch site (on April 20 and 21), I had some good luck. There were some ninety hawks the first day and a hundred fifty the second. On the 20th, however, the hawks flew somewhat lower, which pleased me no end.

In late spring, most of the golden eagles have already come through, so the stars of the day were broadwing hawks. About the size of a crow, the broadwings probably accounted for over half the sightings. Sometimes they approached in ones and others times in fives and sixes.

The first photo shows a broadwing in flight. Note the belly marking, which is characteristic of the adult broadwing.
Broadwing hawk
The second photo is of a particularly cooperative broadwing, who did a loop around us before continuing on its way. Here the broadwing's tail is fanned wide open, displaying its white band.
Broadwing hawk
Some turkey vultures were migrating north, whereas local ones occasionally flew over to see how we were doing.

Turkey vulture

An osprey overhead is a beautiful sight.
Majestic and glorious, an immature bald eagle soared overhead on April 20.

There was also low-level action. Towhees were singing, kinglets were flittering about, and the field sparrow below had snatched an insect.
Field sparrow snatching an insect

Most of these photos were taken with the help of the official counter Geoff Gould, who continually alerted me to which hawks were coming into view, not to mention pointing out the field sparrow.

For detailed information on the eagle watch (including past and current information), as well as detailed directions for getting there, go to The Tussey Mountain Spring Eaglewatch.

Photo note: I used a Pentax *ist D, with the SMC reflex 1000mm lens.  

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