Montclair Hawkwatch – 9/1 to 9/4

The Fall 2021 season at Montclair got off to a rough start this Wednesday, September 1st as the remnants of Hurricane Ida started to hit the region in the early morning. A lone, intrepid Merlin, flying close over the watch during a pause in the rain, was the first recorded raptor of the season (and the only migrant recorded that day). On Thursday, it was the small handful of human visitors who were intrepid, as they had to wade through 6 inches of standing water on the path following an absolute deluge overnight.  The weather was good that day, however, and made for a decent flight of Bald Eagles, Osprey, a few Broad-winged Hawks, and one fun-loving Peregrine Falcon, which performed endless barrel rolls on its shallow glide over the gorge.  Continuing nice weather on Friday and favorable winds out of the northwest brought 47 Broad-wings in groups of up to 5, as well as a nice even 10 Bald Eagles.  On Saturday the 4th, a landscaping crew did some much-needed manicuring of the weeds and shrubs around the platform, and the first half of the count was conducted from across the gorge in Mills Reservation.  The weather was hot, the air relatively still, and birding was consequently very slow, with few raptors but decent numbers of Monarchs and Common Green Darner dragonflies.  On the plus side, the fall platform has a nice new haircut, and the visibility, especially when sitting, is much improved.


Osprey – 21

Bald Eagle – 18

Northern Harrier – 1

Sharp-shinned Hawk – 3

Cooper’s Hawk – 8

Broad-winged Hawk – 59

American Kestrel – 8

Merlin – 1

Peregrine Falcon – 1

Unid. Buteo – 1

121 total raptors counted


Cliff Bernzweig

Montclair Hawk Counter