Montclair Hawkwatch Update: Oct 13th – Nov 2nd, 2021

This was another period of feast or famine at Montclair, punctuated by some weather events (in other words, a typical October).  The 13th was certainly a famine, with only a single migrant Sharp-shinned counted, but accipiter numbers started to pick up the following day, and some decently large groups of Turkey Vultures on the 15th.  From the 17th to the 19th, we counted large numbers of Canada Geese and slightly smaller numbers of Brant, as well as Turkey Vultures in groups up to 100.  Red-shouldered Hawks started trickling through almost daily on the 16th, replacing the Broad-wings (the latest one seen on the 20th).  29 Red-shouldereds were seen on October 28th, most of those in small groups following larger groups of migrating Turkey Vultures.  On some of the lighter migration days, like the 29th, the suite of local raptors (including Red-taileds, Cooper’s, an adult Sharpie, Peregrines, both Vultures, and Merlin) were often the most conspicuous birds, hunting in and around the gorge.

Season Totals:

Black Vulture 32
Turkey Vulture 1588
Osprey 213
Bald Eagle 163
Northern Harrier 56
Sharp-shinned Hawk 785
Cooper’s Hawk 382
Red-shouldered Hawk 94
Broad-winged Hawk 913
Red-tailed Hawk 95
American Kestrel 268
Merlin 69
Peregrine Falcon 55
Unidentified accipiter 6
Unidentified buteo 3
Unidentified falcon 6
Unidentified raptor 1
Mississippi Kite 1
Total: 4730


-Cliff Bernzweig