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Friday, September 14, 2007

Hawks Again

Osprey

The View off the hawk-watch site of Pack Monadnock Raptor Observatory

We were hawk-watching yesterday at Pack Monadnock Raptor Observatory in NH, and again this morning and have seen fabulous hawks. Hawk-watching is one of our favorite activities. When we've spent the day up on the mountain staring into the blue sky, watching hundreds of hawks circling above, then come down off the mountain, we feel a part of ourselves is still up there in the sky soaring with the hawks. It's addictive. Below are some photos from the two days.

American Kestrels flew right by our heads

Lillian scanning for hawks

Broad-winged Hawks coming off a thermal

During the noontime hours yesterday, the hawks were rising so high on the thermals, we felt we were missing many and Don and another hawk-watcher were on their backs, scanning high up hoping to find the hawks.

Broad-winged Hawk flapping

Mostly Broadwings soar with their wings open and look for rising thermals of hot air to give them lift.

Groups of elementary school children, who were studying raptors as part of their curriculum, came each day to see the hawks. They were lucky that many hawks were flying and were thrilled to get some close views.

Pack Monadnock Raptor Observatory is operated by New Hampshire Audubon Society, who raffled off one of our signed Stokes Field Guide To Birds to anyone who became a member that day. Here are the winners.

Broadwings up high can look tiny in your binoculars.

Another group of students from Antioch New England College also came up with their teachers. Don is giving them hawk-watching tips and helping them spot the birds. What a wonderful opportunity it is to share information and get students excited about the hawks. Hopefully some of them will get addicted too and turn into hawk conservationists in the future.

2 comments:

mon@rch said...

Your pictures are wonderful and makes me want to visit a hawk watch sometime soon! I also have to say that your pictures so remind me of Hawk Mt. but with softer looking rocks!

Mary C said...

I'm so glad to see so many young people so interested in such an excitable pastime. It kind of gives us hope for future generations to be conservationists and naturalists.
I get my opportunity to do some hawk watching (here in Calif.) next weekend. I will be attending the Monterey Bay Birding Festival, and participating in a couple of slough trips which claim that we should see several raptors along with many shorebirds, etc.