Oct 08 2013

Broad-Wings Pass Veracruz

Published by at 7:30 am under Birds of Prey,Migration

At Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, this fall's high count of 1,338 broad-winged hawks flew by the watch on September 20.  That number sounds large but those hawks join all their cohorts from North America to pass a small strip of land between the mountains and the Gulf of Mexico near Veracruz.

The Veracruz Hawk Watch is called the River of Raptors because more than 100,000 hawks per day may pass through between the September 20 and October 25.  During the first two weeks of the watch almost all of them are broad-winged hawks.  On September 23 the broad-wing count at River of Raptors in Cardel was 354,091.

Above, a slideshow video from a 2011 birding trip to Veracruz celebrates the hawk migration and shows the birds and scenery in the area. (Sorry about the ads.)

Below, a very short video shows the "river of raptors."  A huge kettle of hawks circles up, then tails off in a broad river to the left, heading south.  The Spanish title of this video "Vortex Cambiando a Una Linea Ancha" means "Vortex Switching to a Wide Line."

Wish I'd been there...


(videos from YouTube)


3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Broad-Wings Pass Veracruz”

  1. FAITH CORNELLon 08 Oct 2013 at 8:01 am

    Yes I am still around and doing well at 77. This site was a wonderful view of beautiful things and I always watch everyday making my small world a wondrous view of nature. Thanks again for this blog that has no politics . Faith

  2. Kate St. Johnon 08 Oct 2013 at 11:11 am

    Great to hear from you, Faith! Happy October!

  3. Mary Ann Pikeon 08 Oct 2013 at 10:59 am

    Faith, I was wondering about you because I hadn’t seen any posts from you for a while. I think you said you live in Bridgeville one time and I drive through there a lot (my daughter works there right now) and I often wonder if you are still there.

    On to a topic relevant to the post. Does anyone know if Turkey Vultures also have large migrations? I’m pretty sure they don’t winter around Pittsburgh. Last night when I came home from work, a group of more than a dozen were wheeling over my yard… my house sits on the top of a ridge and the driveway goes down to the valley floor through a clearing. We often have vultures come over the ridge from behind our house and catch thermals in our valley and the ones beyond our house. But I sat at the bottom of the driveway for about 5 minutes watching the group wheel around my yard, not very high, maybe 100 to 150 feet up, some of them dropping to the tree tops or a little lower and going back up. It was great seeing them flying so close up. Then the whole group just slowly drifted to the South, still wheeling around as they moved South.

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