Winter Raptor Survey Results for PA – 2012

Alex LamoreauxAnalysis, Bird Finding Tips, Birding, Science0 Comments

Greg Grove sent out the following message concerning the results of this past winter’s PA winter raptor surveys (WRS). Greg has allowed me to post this on his behalf –

Record coverage and mild weather led to several record high counts this year. Given that hourly rates were not notably (or at all) higher than usual (with one exception) – most of the record-setting was therefore likely due to the increased coverage.

Northern Harrier - adult male (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

A full report with maps, graphs etc will be in Pennsylvania Birds. Also – for those who are HMANA members – the current issue just out contains an article Nick Bolgiano and Greg Grove wrote summarizing the first 11 years of WRS.

WRS 2012 Results:

Red-tailed Hawks – Record high of 3245; hourly rate of 4.3 is just about average.

American Kestrels – Same story – record high count of 682, hourly rate was about 0.9 , about average, but up from last year’s second lowest ever.

American Kestrel - female (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Rough-legged Hawks – After a high count last winter, back to about average this year with a total of 79. Most were in the north or upper Susquehanna Valley.

Rough-legged Hawk - adult female light type (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Northern Harriers – Count was 101 – up from last year’s low count. Maybe the influence of the mild season. Turkey and Black Vultures set record highs: TV- 2804; BV – 994. In each case, the second highest houly rates ever, so mild weather may have kept more than usual here.

WRS 2012 - Species per hour (Figure by Greg Grove)

Other species:

Bald Eagles – 190 (record high)

Sharp-shinned Hawks – 41

Cooper’s Hawks – 115 (record high)

Northern Goshawks – 0

Red-shouldered Hawks – 6 (record high)

Golden Eagles – 3

Merlins – 9 (record high)

Peregrine Falcons – 6

Northern Shrikes -10 (record high)

Peregrine Falcon - juvenile in the snow (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)