By Phil Brown, Hawk Watch Coordinator
The Pack Monadnock Raptor Observatory, a partnership of the Harris Center and NH Audubon, located within Miller State Park in Peterborough, is already in full swing for its 15th consecutive season! This week is the height of Broad-winged Hawk migration, and the forecast for much of the week calls for continued moderate to large flights of raptors.
There was much excitement and anticipation last Friday as a flight of 2,300 Broad-winged Hawks passed over the raptor observatory, much of this taking place during a couple of hours early in the day. In addition to Broad-wings, we are starting to see bigger flights of Bald Eagle, Osprey, Sharp-shinned Hawk, and American Kestrel – each of which has placed in the double-digits already. As Broad-wings begin to wane, raptor diversity reaches its peak around the end of the month into October. Come out alongside staff and volunteers to learn about and marvel at the spectacle and science of raptor migration!
As one of the premier locations in New England for watching raptors, it provides a long-term dataset of fall-migrating raptors and reaches thousands of people annually through both casual and formal learning opportunities. The Harris Center has again hired two seasonal employees to fulfill the staffing commitment within this partnership. Phil Brown will continue to serve as Hawk Watch Coordinator to provide continuity to this important research and education project, and Levi Burford will be the on-site Raptor Biologist five days per week. Levi is an avid raptor enthusiast and has been a key volunteer at the hawk watch for the past two seasons. Other key volunteers will help round out the Observatory’s schedule to provide full coverage during suitable weather between September 1 and November 15.
As always, the Observatory will celebrate several special events. In addition, the Harris Center staff and volunteers will make special efforts to provide programming to visiting school groups and the general public, enhancing the environmental literacy of visitors to the Observatory.
HMANA’s International Hawk Migration Week, September 14-22
Hawk Talk – Raptor Migration in NH, Harris Center, Monday, September 16 at 7 pm
Raptor Release Day, Sunday, September 22 at 3pm
Features release of a rehabilitated raptor!
Big Sit Birding Event, Saturday, October 12, 8 am – 4 pm
A fun and friendly competition and bird count at the Observatory.
Young Birders Club Pack Monadnock kickoff event, Saturday, October 26, 10 am – noon
Thanks to the many volunteers, supporters, and partners of this project, in particular, NH Parks and the Department of Cultural and Natural Resources, the Observatory will remain an outdoor classroom for all to enjoy for many years to come. See you on the Mountain!