Year End 4515 Raptors

Another season has come to an end. Thanks to everyone who helped count,spot and contributed photos for the blog. Special thanks to Walter,without whom things would just not be the same. Thanks to Ann,Lee,Walter and Tu for photos this year. Their generous sharing of images adds a great deal to this site. Thanks to Betty for so many hot chocolates to keep Walter and I going during some frosty days in October and November. Thanks again to the staff of Rosetta McClain Gardens Don,Richard,Charlene,Ron,Billy,Frank,Ryan and Gary for their help with storage of materials,passing them out,directing park goers to us and cold drinks in hot weather and warm ones in the cold weather. All you all do,help things run much smoother and help the watch to grow. To the all of the regular irregulars,an ever expanding gang,thanks for your help,support and commraderie. Your participation adds greatly to the enjoyment for all of us and for new folks. Its great that everyone is a good ammbassador for not just our watch,but the birding community as a whole and dare I say positive representation of our city to park visitors from far and near.

A very crisp clear day,we were able to see the city of Niagara Falls and the mist from same very clearly.


November 30th marked the end of the watch,which finished up with 3 raptors. A Redtailed Hawk,a Sharpshinned Hawk and a Red Shouldered Hawk. I was quite surprised to have such a great turn out to wrap things up. Walter and I were joined by Peter,Brad,Skiff,,Ann,Carol,Betty(with a final round of hot chocolate),Pat,Nancy and Bill.


This season was a funny one for weather,which affected all raptor watches in Ontario. Totals at most were down considerably beacause of very poor totals of Broadwinged Hawks. Winds at the time they migrated were not right and this resulted in few being observed relative to historic levels. Fortunately for us at Rosetta McClain Raptor watch,Broadwinged Hawks are a very small percentage of the total raptors we usually see,so our final tally of 4515 was not as negatively affected. Indeed our final total this season of 4515 was considerably more then last years total of 4172 total raptors. (see chart) We recorded a record number of Peregrine Falcon sightings this year,reaching 73. Our previous best was 72,seen in 2007. Numbers of several other species of raptors were up from last season,and ranked 2nd or 3rd of the 6 years counting at Rosetta.
We recorded 18 days with over 100 raptors. That is about average for any season. Our biggest day this year was 744 on September 30th.
The only rarity that we had this season was the sighting of Common Raven on 3 occassions.
We were priviledged to enjoy fantastic views of so many raptors this year and enjoyed sharing them with everyone. I hope everyone enjoys their winter and that we can all get out and see some great birds. Over the winter,I may post some interesting sightings,video and or photos,so drop by here once in awhile to check things out. Remember only 89 days until spring Raptor Watch starts at Beamer!


Species...........................2009...........2008...........Best
Turkey Vulture.............1209............1369...........1369
Osprey..............................82...............100............100
Bald Eagle........................33................32..............46
Northern Harrier...........122................84.............488
Sharpshinned Hawk....1718.............1208...........2691
Coopers Hawk.................94..................74............127
Northern Goshawk.........21...................13..............24
Redshouldered Hawk.....21....................9...............29
Broadwinged Hawk........57.................156.............225
Redtailed Hawk............675.................621.............828
Roughlegged Hawk...........2........................9................11
Golden Eagle....................5.......................11................12
American Kestrel..........354...................406...............679
Merlin.............................49......................43................60
Peregrine Falcon............73......................37................73
Total............................4515...................4172...........5844

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