Saturday, March 18, 2017

March 15-March 18-2017-What An Incredible Migration Period

March 15-Laura
March 16-Rose
March 17-Pam
March 18-Hal

March 15-328 Swainson's Hawks
March 16-788      "
March 17-633      "
March 18-3,713 Swainson's Hawks

Today started off as any other day with kettles beginning to form around 8:30a hawk time. By the end of the first hour hawks began to stream. By the end of the second hour over 800 Swainson's Hawks had passed us. The next hour went crazy. We spotted a large kettle to the east. It finally emerged closer and as we clicked off the SW's another kettle formed to the east. Rose raised the cry that hawks were streaming in at an alarming rate. As one kettle formed near pyramid and streamed away, another kettle formed in the same area. This continued for more than an hour. At times the stream was too dense to count. We believe we missed a few hundred hawks! With a cramped hand from clicking, I had to switch to my other hand. This figure surpasses our previous record by over 2,000 hawks. Check out the youtube:
We are not getting as many close photos this season. The hawks, although we have great numbers, are not coming close to the road. Most likely the number of flower viewers in town and traffic influence the hawks. I've been told we have had over 40,000 visitors each weekend day!

Evening Watch:
This evening around 200 or more hawks have descended into the valley. After the numbers that migrated today we were surprised.

If the wind remains light, migration will start between 9 and 10am. Again check in with the leaders at the alternate site on Di Giorgio Rd just south of Henderson Canyon Rd.

Evening boil of Swainson's Hawks-HC

Sunset from the evening watch-HC


  1. Fantastic numbers! I am coming to town on Thursday. How can I find out where to go for morning and evening hawk watches? I see the locations you have given. Is it best to just go there? Thanks!

    1. Well, we can't predict what will happen on Thursday. The weather pattern we are having will change dramatically on Wednesday. It will be cool, windy and rainy. Thursday could be good or ? We'll know the status of birds in the valley Wednesday evening. I suggest you ask me again at

    2. Thanks! I will email you when I get to town.

  2. Hello! We are in town for one more day. Do you have information to share about their current status? I would love to have a chance to see these guys in the morning! Thank you!

  3. Hi en route to Borrego right now and inquiring about current hawk status and viewing location. Please inform.
    Thank you, Sharon

  4. We noticed on 3/16/2017 that there are a lot less sphinx moth caterpillars than in 2015; maybe three or four in a two foot square [compared to 10 in 2015] along Henderson Canyon Rd. At the time, the temp was a toasty 93 degrees which is about 13 degrees above normal.