Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Another Great Migration Today-ALERT for Tomorrow

Swainson's Hawks-235
Turkey Vultures-34
Red-tailed Hawks-3

Several Swainson's Hawks in a Eucalyptus Tree 3/13/12
Lift-off from the date farm and near The Springs RV Park at 9:15A. The weather was sunny and 70 by 10A with a very light breeze. Kettles up to 75 hawks came very close to the watch site. A kettle of 92 SW's came late (11A), streaming to the northwest.

How far do the hawks fly in a day? The distance covered in a day will depend on weather conditions. SW's migrate from 50-200 miles in a day. The average may be around 80-100 miles. Today, I spent some time in Coyote Canyon at another viewing site. The hawks traveled the 5 miles from the day site in about 1/2 hour. That's 10mph. If the hawks are flying at this speed they will travel around 7 or 8 hours and 70-80 miles today.

Evening Watch:
Once again we observed several Swainson's Hawks and Turkey Vultures drop into roosts. Somewhere between 150 and 200 Swainson's and at least 100 Turkey Vultures played in the wind this evening. From 5:45P-7P Swainson's meandered about until dropping into the date farm and a tree at a private home near The Springs RV Park.

Prediction for Tomorrow
Strong wind will continue until early tomorrow morning. If the wind should die down by sunup, the Swainson's and TV's will remain in roosts until 8:30-9:30A. Lift-off from the date farm should be very impressive. Observation from the evening site, Di Giorgio Rd or the count site will be good. If it continues to be windy, all the raptors will leave the roost by 7:30A.

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