Saturday was a big day for the broad-winged hawk migration at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. A total of 16,815 broadwings passed over the ridge, many in large “kettles” in which the birds spiral higher and higher on hillside thermals, according to observers. That movement brought the season total for broadwings at Hawk Ridge to 33,983, according to Janelle Long, executive director at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. Broadwings typically move in large numbers during mid-September.
Winds were light, from the west or southwest, according to counters. Also on Saturday, 459 sharp-shinned hawks were counted at Hawk Ridge, along with 276 bald eagles.
On Sunday, the count dropped off dramatically with winds brisk from the southwest. Just 28 broadwings passed over the ridge among a total of 560 raptors.