In autumn 2016, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary tallied 17,548 hawks in 1,106 hours of effort. The overall total was 6 percent below the 10-year average, but a 2010 record for bald eagle sightings was broken.
A new record was set for the Bald Eagle, 489, well above the prior record of 406 set in 2010. The best day for Bald Eagles occurred late in the season, on December 3rd when 22 Bald Eagles flew past representing half the migrants observed that day.
Nine of the 16 regularly recorded species showed below-average counts in 2016, including the American Kestrel, which was 50 percent below the 10-year average and Osprey 343, 33 percent below average.
Favorable winds in September boosted counts of Broad-winged Hawks in 2016, with 9,361 counted, 22 percent above the 10-year average of 7,683.
The largest one-day count in 2016 coincided with the peak Broad-winged Hawk flight, with 3,066 hawks for the day, including 3,018 broadwings.
On December 1, the 407th bald eagle soared over North Lookout, breaking the record previously set in 2010. At the end of the fall migration count on December 15, the count stood at 489.
The bald eagle has increased steadily since the ban of DDT in 1972, leading to it being down-listed from Endangered to Threatened, and then finally removed from the Endangered Species List entirely in 2007.
A record 406 migrating bald eagles were counted during the duration of the 2010 Autumn Migration season, and Hawk Mountain has seen improved numbers in recent years as nesting populations continue to increase throughout Pennsylvania, New England, and eastern Canada.For more information on programs, initiatives and upcoming events, visit the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary or call 610-756-6961. Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Sanctuary, Like them on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, visit them on Flickr, be part of their Google+ Circle and visit their YouTube Channel.