71 Raptors...YTD...1776 Local Coopers Adventure

Today rain was predicted, it never came, so the birds did. Norm, Ron, Berle, Carol, Theresa, Peter, Terrry 2, Hugh, Bill, Walter and I enjoyed a number of Sharpshinned Hawks, a flurry of 3 Osprey and a smattering of Kestrels and Harriers.
  The local Coopers Hawk put on a show today, with 2 exciting adventures. We watched as an American Crow and a Coopers Hawk put the run on one another. Like 2 fighter pilots, each would make a turn and suddenly become the aggressor, the hunted would become the hunter. It was like watching a dog fight. Never a dull moment. After its attention was switched to hunting Jays, the Coopers Hawk took a run at a Blue Jay. We heard a death scream behind us and saw the Coopers with a Jay on the ground in a fight. The Jay took off, narrowly escaping with its life.  The Coopers Hawk switched perches a few times before disappearing from our view for the day.

The bird of the day was definetly Blue Jays. They just didnt stop. All marvelled at the volume of Jays. At different times they filled the sky from Kingston Rd right to the lakeshore. Jays kept moving along from 830am until 4pm when we left there wasnt much of a let up in their flight. Conservatively we estimate 20000 Blue Jays passed by Rosetta McClain Gardens today.

Also observed were thousand of American Goldfinch, a Common Nighthawk and 27 Common Loons in flight.
Common Nighthawk above and Common Loon below.
Keep an eye on Sunday and next Thursday. Tomorrow depending on when the morning rain stops may see a few birds.
Todays birds were:
6-Northern Harriers
51-Sharpshinned Hawks
8-American Kestrels
71-Total Raptors

Our year to date totals as of the last full day of summer are:
37-Turkey Vultures
42-Bald Eagles
83-Northern Harriers
765-Sharpshinned Hawks
12-Coopers Hawks
317-Broadwinged Hawks
58-Redtailed Hawks
333-American Kestrels
16-Peregrine Falcons
1776-Total Raptors

Same day last season we had 2118 raptors. The lower total is reflected in approximately 500 fewer Broadwinged Hawks . That alone makes up the difference. The mix is slightly different but for the most part everything else is moving as normal. Few NW winds meant fewer chances for Broadwings as was the case at all city sites. Phil tells us the long range forecast has a NW wind on October 1, which the last 2 years has brought record numbers of raptors past Rosetta McClain Gardens, so that is something to watch as it draws closer.

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