Friday, February 12, 2021

Hawk Ridge News December 2020


 

Dear Friends of Hawk Ridge,


We hope this letter finds you healthy and happy during this holiday season. This has been a rough year for all of us, but THANKS to our wonderful donors, awesome staff, and beautiful birds, we had a great year at Hawk Ridge. You can read the November count and banding reports below, as well as our highlights from 2020. If you'd like to make a tax-deductible donation to help Hawk Ridge continue to do our best for the birds in 2021, you can easily do so by clicking HERE TODAY! www.hawkridge.org/support/donate/  We truly appreciate your gift and look forward to connecting with you soon! 

November 2020 Banding and Count Reports

Raptor Banding Summary (Nov-Dec 2020)

Despite a warmer than average temperature in November, including a week stretch of 60’ and even two days in the low 70’s, we had a good November for banding raptors. Flights slowed down after the 18th but picked up slightly at the end of November, which prompted me to continue banding until the 9th December. Except for a period after the 18th, the weather was warm, but winds were consistently from a westerly component. Although Rough-legged and Red-tailed Hawk flights had ended in the first half of November, and nearly all the Rough-legged seen afterward were adults, capture rates were low. However, Northern Goshawks kept us busy the remainder of November and December and were mostly adult birds.
Owl banding continued to push through November with nets closing on the 20th. No banding was attempted in December. We were somewhat surprised not to catch any Boreal Owls given the fact that Great Gray Owls started showing up in late October, including two observed in the banding station field. We were able to finally band one Great Gray on November 5th, which certainly was a highlight for the banding crew and others who got to see this amazing bird. It was a second-year male in good shape. Although we had a record year for Long-eared Owl, November numbers were modest with 20 banded with most coming in October.

A final report on the season will be written with more in depth details. Thanks for your continued support to the raptor banding project and Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory.

The following were banded in November-December:

Northern Harrier-1

Sharp-shinned Hawk-4

Northern Goshawk-72

Red-tailed Hawk-10

Rough-legged Hawk-16

Northern Saw-whet Owl-123

Long-eared Owl-20

Barred Owl-4

Great Horned Owl-3

Great Gray Owl-1

Total Raptors-254

 Frank Nicoletti, Hawk Ridge Banding Director

November Bird Migration Count Summary

November marked the end of the Fall 2020 migration count, wrapping up a very memorable season here at Hawk Ridge! The month started strong with favorable winds and the flight continued relatively steadily with a few slow stretches towards the end. Unseasonably warm weather during the middle of November made the counters very happy but may have delayed the movement of some of the birds.

 


We counted a total of 2,152 raptors this month, with 1,039 Bald Eagles making up the majority. They were our most reliable raptor, with at least one or two counted despite adverse weather conditions. Even when no other birds were moving, Bald Eagles forged ahead in gale-force winds, sleet, and snow! The season total for Bald Eagles is 5,300 individuals.

Bald Eagles Sketched by Count Trainee Emma Regnier
 

The second most numerous species of the month was the Rough-legged Hawk, with 520 individuals counted. Last month’s record-setting single day count of 583 Roughies consisted of mostly juvenile birds, so we were anticipating a later push of adults. And, like clockwork, they arrived! The overwhelming majority of the Roughies counted in November were adults - a good mix of dark and light morphs, too. This time last fall, only 79 Roughies were counted in November and the 2019 season total was 158 individuals. This has been an exceptional year for Rough-legged Hawks with our season total for Roughies now at a staggering 1,948 individuals, far surpassing the previous season high at Hawk Ridge of 1,123 from 2017!!

In contrast to the abundance of Roughies this month, we were surprised by the lack of Red-tailed Hawks seen in November. While Red-tails are still one of the most prominent species of the month, we only counted 351 individuals. This monthly total is much lower than the 840 counted in November 2019. Similarly, the 2020 season total of 4,720 Red-tails is significantly lower than the 2019 season total of 6,734. Despite the lower numbers, we still enjoyed the incredible variation in the individuals we observed, including a handful of dark morphs and even one dark adult Harlan’s Hawk on November 16th!
November at Hawk Ridge is also well-known for the arrival of Northern Goshawks. On November 1, we counted 40 individuals and achieved our highest daily total for the season! With 26 more counted on November 2, and a steady stream throughout the rest of the month, our November total reached 141. An impressive proportion of the goshawks counted this month were adults, which is expected for late-fall, but still proved exciting when compared to the numbers of juveniles observed in the previous months. The season total of Northern Goshawks is 268.


The next most numerous raptors were Golden Eagles, with 70 birds counted in November. We had a few days of double-digit Goldens, but for the most part they trickled through in twos and threes. Nonetheless, it was always refreshing to spot a distant Golden circling with a group of Bald Eagles. Even though the number of Goldens this month seems down from last November, we still finished with a season total of 208 individuals (comparable to last year’s season total of 203). Guess the Goldens just got an earlier start to migration this year?

Not to be forgotten, there were a few other raptor species that helped to occasionally spice up the species diversity for the count. Some 21 late-season Sharp-shinned Hawks zipped through during November, as well as 5 Northern Harriers. On November 17th, one fashionably late adult Broad-winged Hawk circled the count platform, flanked by a pair of Rough-legged Hawks! No one expected to see a Broad-wing in mid-November, but that’s one of the beauties of hawkwatching - you never really know what each day might bring! We even counted one surprise Merlin on the final day of the 2020 season.

The raptors were not the only migrants of interest this month, as the late-season passerines continued to move through in steady numbers! Common Redpoll, Pine Grosbeak, Evening Grosbeak, White-winged Crossbill, and Red Crossbill all made November appearances, and always brightened up the count with their charismatic vocalizations. It has been an exceptional year for winter finches, especially when compared to their notable absence last season. You can also look back at daily sightings of all species from this fall on the HRBO eBird account or via Dunkadoo and HawkCount.

And that is a wrap on the Fall 2020 migration! Thank you to everyone who joined us up on the ridge and helped make this season a success. We look forward to more migration in Spring 2021.

-Maggie Brown & Emma Regnier

Hawk Ridge Fall Count Trainees/November Counters

2020 Hawk Ridge Highlights

Here’s what your support helped us achieve in 2020. We couldn’t have done with without our amazing members and donors, like you! Thank you so much for continuing to partner with us! You’re the best!

Bird Migration Count Research – A “rough” year was had in more than one way – and this was a good way with record numbers of Rough-legged Hawks counted this fall! We broke both the daily & season high counts. Both spring and fall counts were able to be conducted this year with a total of 82,000 raptors of 17 different species and over 185,000 other migrating birds of over 170 species counted in 2020! Over 3.1 million raptors have been counted at Hawk Ridge since the standardized count started in fall 1972! We’ll be back in action for the Spring Count starting again on March 1st!


Bird Banding Research – Hawk Ridge is the largest raptor banding operation in the country and completed its 49th fall season! Over 4000 raptors (including 1900+ owls) were banded in fall 2020. Highlights included recaptured Eastern Screech Owl (banded as a first record at Hawk Ridge in 2018), banded Great Gray Owl & Golden Eagle, record season highs for Rough-legged Hawks & Long-eared Owls, and multiple research projects. We also continued passerine banding at Hawk Ridge, including the volunteer-led summer MAPS research project.


Education
– We created a safe set up to still connect with thousands of visitors this fall season in person at Hawk Ridge and virtually. We were able to teach a few small group education programs, hold some live bird demonstrations, and sell limited merchandise at Hawk Ridge and online (not surprising – Hawk Ridge masks were our #1 seller!). We look forward to continuing to share the wonder of  birds, migration, and our conservation work!

Stewardship & Volunteers – While we couldn’t have our regular volunteer program in operation this year, we still had several wonderful volunteers helping behind the scenes and at the Ridge. Volunteer projects included helping with office work, invasive species management, cleaning up the reserve (trails, litter), and working on site improvements.

Events – Due to the pandemic, we were unable to hold our Hawk Weekend Festival and other events. We were able to hold a few virtual programs and we plan to hold more in 2021. We are also looking forward to celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2022, so stay tuned for details on that!

Traineeship Program & Graduate Research –We taught 4 new research trainees professional field experience skills this fall within our count and banding program areas. We also worked with 4 University of MN Duluth grad students (including 2 former trainees) on their graduate research projects in collaboration with Hawk Ridge.  Hear from each our trainees below on the positive impact of their experience this fall!  

 

You can also find out more on how your gift can help Hawk Ridge soar by reading our booklet at https://www.hawkridge.org/support/donate/ or HERE. We are counting on your continued support!

2020 Hawk Ridge Trainees

Hawk Ridge was very fortunate to have 4 amazing trainees this fall season. Halle & Jessy trained with Frank and his crew at the banding station. Emma & Maggie trained with John & Nick at the count platform. We truly appreciated working with them and thank our wonderful lodging hosts for making this possible as well! Thank YOU!

Emma Regnier: "Hawk Ridge opened my eyes to the marvels of bird migration on a scale I’d never seen before. Thanks to the count traineeship, I gained invaluable experience in the technical aspects of conducting count research, such as identifying bird species in flight and tallying large numbers of birds as a team. Witnessing the ebb and flow of raptors and non-raptors over the course of the season, I felt personally connected to this spectacular migration and the greater Hawk Ridge community. Being a count trainee for Hawk Ridge strengthened my sense of self as an early career raptor researcher and fueled my ongoing fascination with bird migration. I truly feel that I came into my own as a hawkwatcher this season!"

 

Jessy Wilson: “I cannot say enough positive things about my experience at Hawk Ridge. The banding traineeship at HRBO spurred my love for raptor biology, and it has opened doors for me that I would not have thought to be possible otherwise. The knowledge and skills I have learned while here will have lasting impacts in all my career ventures moving forward. I am immensely grateful to have been part of this program, and I am excited for the future trainees that Hawk Ridge will continue to impact. My highlights from this season include catching the first great gray owl in over a decade with my fellow trainee Halle, and catching goshawks with Frank!” 

Maggie Brown: “It has been an incredible privilege to work as a member of the HRBO team this fall and witness the spectacular migration of birds through Duluth. As a Count Trainee, I quickly fell in love with the views from the ridge, the rhythm of the migration, the unpredictability of each day, and of course, the bird themselves. This opportunity has shown me the true value of teamwork across all HRBO programs and has certainly helped me grow more confident in my identification of raptors and non-raptors alike. While it is impossible to pick just one favorite moment from this fall, my most memorable season highlights include the peak days of Broad-winged Hawk migration in mid-September, the record-breaking Rough-legged Hawk flights in October, and getting to watch adult Northern Goshawks barrel towards the banding station in November! I will treasure these memories and am eager to carry the lessons I have learned here at Hawk Ridge into my future endeavors.”


Halle Lambeau: “What I enjoyed most about the banding traineeship was the amazing variety of species and methods that I was fortunate to learn about as well as the wonderful support I received from the HRBO staff, volunteers, researchers, and my fellow trainees.” 

 

 

 

 

2020 Hawk Ridge Limited Edition Merchandise

Hawk Ridge Limited Edition 2020 Online Merchandise Campaign (Still Available for Purchase!)

In case you missed our launch in November, we still have our unique 2020 merchandise still available for purchase. We have 2 new fantastic designs we're excited to share with you! They're available in a wide variety of shirts and masks available online only for a limited time! All proceeds from sales go to support the bird conservation research and education efforts of Hawk Ridge!

Now is your chance to purchase limited edition "Corvid vs. Covid" merchandise (shirts & masks), while supporting 2 good causes (Hawk Ridge research & education and to help protect yourself/others from Covid)! Local artist and former Hawk Ridge Owl Bander, Annmarie Geniusz, is well known for her fun, creative spin on creatures of all kinds and created this one-of-a-kind design for Hawk Ridge!

Commemorate the record-breaking Rough-legged Hawk count at Hawk Ridge fall of 2020 with limited edition "2020 - A Rough Year" merchandise (shirts & masks). We all know 2020 has been a "Rough" year! This beautiful photo of a Rough-legged Hawk was taken by Jason Heinen, Hawk Ridge Naturalist.

 Click HERE to get to our online store!

Upcoming Events

Hawk Ridge has several upcoming virtual programs and workshops. Please click HERE for more info or go to our “Events” link on our home website at hawkridge.org. If you’re interested in scheduling a custom virtual program for a group, please click HERE for more info or contact Margie Menzies at mmenzies@hawkridge.org or (218) 428-8722.

WAYS OF GIVING

Hawk Ridge thanks each of you for believing in and supporting the work we do for the protection of birds. Every gift is much appreciated!

Charitable Giving Options

Charitable Giving Incentives Under the the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) means there are continued increased tax incentives for charitable giving. If you itemize your taxes, the AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) limit for charitable cash contributions has increased from 60 percent to 100 percent deducted. IRA Qualified Charitable Distributions can also be applied. If you don't itemize your taxes, the CARES Act allows for an additional "above the line" deduction for up to $300 per tax return in 2020 (or up to $600 for joint filers in 2021) for cash gifts made to charities, like Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. Donors should consult with their tax/legal advisor for questions on charitable giving incentives. Please contact Executive Director, Janelle Long, if you have questions on gifts of stock or other securities. 

Become A Member Today!

If you're already a member of Hawk Ridge, we sincerely appreciate your support! THANK YOU! If you're not a member and have enjoyed your experience with Hawk Ridge, we invite you to renew or join as a Hawk Ridge member today! Our memberships and donations help drive our bird conservation research and education programs. You can check out our exciting membership benefits and join or renew online HERE!

Support Hawk Ridge by Shopping!

If you missed out on one of our fun shirt designs from a past season at our merchandise trailer, you might be in luck. You can order some of our past designs like this adorable Northern Saw-whet Owl by Alexa Carson and it's shipped directly to you! Order online HERE!

Two more simple ways to raise money for Hawk Ridge are by using charitable online shopping options. 1) You can shop online at your favorite stores through GoodShop and Hawk Ridge earns cash back! 2) If you like to shop on Amazon, you can add Hawk Ridge as your charity you support via Amazon Smile and Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory receives a donation of 0.5% of eligible purchases!


Simply Donate

You can always simply donate online by clicking HERE or by mailing a check made out to Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, P.O. Box 3006, Duluth, MN 55803

P.S. If you missed any of our recent previous newsletters, you can find them HERE.

Thank YOU and Happy New Year!

Sincerely,

Janelle Long

Executive Director

Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory

 

Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory

P.O. Box 3006

Duluth, MN 55803-3006 

218-428-6209 

mail@hawkridge.org

hawkridge.org

 Join us on Facebook and Instagram

 Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with mission to protect birds of prey and other migratory birds in the Western Lake Superior Region through research, education, and stewardship.

 

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Hawk Ridge - November 2020 Migration Update

 HRBO_DM_LogoCMYK 2

Dear Hawk Ridge Friends,

Golden Eagle by J RichardsonOver 61,500 raptors of 17 species and still counting through the end of the month! Our October count, banding, and education summary reports are below, as well as upcoming events (note: two start tomorrow, Friday, November 13th - in case you missed previous notice). We had a nice break with some warm temps, before more rain & snow and still enjoying the Red-tailed Hawks, Bald & Golden Eagles, Northern Goshawks, and Rough-legged Hawks! Thanks for your support!

UPCOMING EVENTS

UMD Graduate Student Raptor Research Thesis Seminar
with Lisa Brouellette
Friday, November 13th 3pm CST
Click HERE for Zoom link

Lisa Brouellette 2020Lisa Brouellette will be presenting her raptor research "Using DNA metabarcoding to study the diet of raptors during migration" conducted in conjunction with Hawk Ridge virtually via Zoom https://z.umn.edu/scsefriday

While much research has gone into understanding the timing and patterns of migration, little has been done to understand the diet of raptors during migration. Understanding diet during the full life cycle has important implications for conservation, ecotoxicology, and land management. Lisa collected samples from raptors at Hawk Ridge in 2019. Attend her presentation to hear about her results!

Virtual Advanced Raptor Identification with Bill Clark
Friday, November 13th (Evening) & Saturday November 14th (Morning/Afternoon)

Dark Red-tailed Hawk by J RichardsonHave you ever wondered how our counters can identify raptors from far distances or in large numbers? Well now's your chance to learn some tricks and tips from the comfort of your home with raptor expert, Bill Clark (co-author of Peterson Guide to Hawks & Photographic Guide to North American Raptors). We are excited to have him join us virtually for an Advanced Raptor ID course. This workshop is sure to help bring you up a notch in your hawkwatching skills. Bill will provide an ID skill review and then go into details on challenging raptor ID in groups (accipiters, buteos, eagles, vagrants, and unusual plumages). The course will run Friday 6-8pm, Saturday 9-11am & 1-3pm with a minimum of 8 participants and maximum of 50.
COST: $120/person ($100 member)


Bill Clark author of Peterson Guide to Hawks by Frank NicolettiRaptor expert, Bill Clark, is a photographer, author, researcher, and lecturer and has over 5 decades experience working with birds of prey, including 5 years as Director of NWF's Raptor Information Center. He has published numerous articles on raptor subjects; has traveled extensively world-wide studying, observing, and photographing raptors; and regularly leads raptor and birding tours and workshops, both home and abroad. He is the co-author of the Peterson Guide to Hawks and Photographic Guide to North American Raptors, as well as author of field guides for Europe, Africa, and Central America.

Hawk Ridge Limited Edition 2020 Online Merchandise Campaign (2nd Campaign starts TODAY!)

We have 2 new fantastic designs we're excited to share with you! They're available in a wide variety of shirts and masks available online only for a limited time! The second campaign ends November 27th for shipping directly to you by mid-December. We've relaunched in case you missed our first and need some gift ideas for those on your holiday shopping list. All proceeds from sales go to support the bird conservation research and education efforts of Hawk Ridge!

Corvid vs Covid 2020 Shirt 2Now is your chance to purchase limited edition "Corvid vs. Covid" merchandise (shirts & masks), while supporting 2 good causes (Hawk Ridge research & education and to help protect yourself/others from Covid)! Local artist and former Hawk Ridge Owl Bander, Annmarie Geniusz, is well known for her fun, creative spin on creatures of all kinds and created this one-of-a-kind design for Hawk Ridge!

2020 A Rough Year Mask

Commemorate the record-breaking Rough-legged Hawk count at Hawk Ridge fall of 2020 with limited edition "2020 - A Rough Year" merchandise (shirts & masks). We all know 2020 has been a "Rough" year! This beautiful photo of a Rough-legged Hawk was taken by Jason Heinen, Hawk Ridge Naturalist.


Thanks for your support and don't miss out!

Give to the Max for Hawk Ridge!
Thursday, November 19th (Early Giving happening NOW - help us WIN the $10,000 Golden Ticket!)

IMG_3837Each year, generous supporters like you celebrate Give to the Max Day by making your online donation on GiveMN.org. Your generosity on this day makes a difference far beyond the 24-hour giving event. Please consider making a donation on Thursday, November 19, 2020 or during the early giving period which started Nov. 1st. Drawings will be held during the early giving period and many more opportunities to grow your gift on Give to the Max Day.

Your gift of $10 or more could instantly turn into an extra $500, $1,000 or even $10,000 for us! The more gifts we generate on GiveMN.org during Give to the Max Day, the more our chances increase to receive those additional prizes. Imagine what we could do with $10,000! Our goal is to raise $5000 and you can help us reach it! Be sure to mark your calendar and make your gift on November 19 (or earlier!) by visiting GiveMN.org and searching for "Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory" or by simply clicking HERE to Give to the Max in support of Hawk Ridge!

OCTOBER 2020 MIGRATION SUMMARIES

Below you'll find the October summary reports and highlights from our bird migration count staff, bird banding research staff, and education staff. If you missed the September 2020 summary reports, you can click HERE to find those and previous newsletters on our blog.

October Count Summary and Highlights

Short-eared Owl Oct 2 2020 by J RichardsonOctober came and went in a flash! When this happens it is usually because you are busy with birds. With little in the way of precipitation (we are down 10 inches of rain this year), there were only 3 days with no counting. The start of the month was more like September with mild, warm temperatures (and an exciting Short-eared Owl sighting  on October 2nd!). One day we even logged 81F! Favorable winds allowed the birds to move not all at once, but more steady with most days seeing good numbers. The end of the month was in stark contrast to the beginning. A record 12 inches of snow and days with wind-chill temps in the single digits made it somewhat sobering and uncomfortable for the count staff, but we pushed through!

Turkey Vulture record day Oct 1 2020The bulk of the TURKEY VULTURES came on the 1st with a daily high record of 854 individuals, pushing the season total up to an impressive 2,320. OSPREY have been in short supply this year with only 1 single bird on the 2nd putting the likely season total at a paltry 144. What is happening to the Osprey population? This represents the lowest season total since 1986. We did not see any big BALD EAGLE days this October, as we often do. It was more of a steady trickle with the biggest day of 164 on the 10th. The BALD EAGLE population seems to be continually doing well with over 4,200 counted through the end of October and November still to be accounted for. NORTHERN HARRIER numbers appear to be low, with the lowest season total since 2004. With only 287 individuals this fall did we miss them going on a different migration route? Wind direction was generally favorable, so one can only guess.

Northern Goshawk by J RichardsonWe had some good SHARP-SHINNED HAWK days with the high coming on the 9th with 885. With the current season standing at 13,572 we are far below the post 22,000 years of 2016-17. Perhaps it was not a successful breeding season for this species? COOPER’S HAWK numbers have continued to decline over the past few years. This species is at the northern limits of it breeding range and only 52 have been counted so far. NORTHERN GOSHAWK, typically a late season migrant, are still at historically low numbers compared to the big numbers of the 90s’ and early 2000s’. There were some good days in late October with 18 counted on the 24th.

Juv Red-tailed by J RichardsonAfter a good September count of BROAD-WINGED HAWKS, October saw a few late stragglers. The last individual (a juvenile) came through on the 20th, 18 days since the last three on the 2nd! On the whole, an above average season with 32,919 birds. Where are the RED-TAILED HAWKS one might ask!? Don’t ask me I would respond. By October’s end only 4,501 have been tallied, which is surprising given the ideal conditions later in the month. The best day was 849 on the 24th and numbers have continually declined as October past. A late push for November?

Rough-legged Hawk By J HeinenOne of the highlights for October and the season as a whole has been the incredible numbers of ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS. 2020 has been a rough year all-round, but this is the kind of ‘rough’ you want if you are going to have one. An all time record (and still with November to go) of 1,462 is just incredible, and if that was not enough the North American one-day total of 525 was smashed to smithereens on the 23rd with 583. A truly memorable day to remember for sure and what made the day on top of all that was the counters talking to Jerry Liguori (the previous record-setter) on the phone with Frank Nicoletti from his home in Utah. What a day!!

Banded Golden Eagle Oct 20 by J RichardsonSWAINSON’S HAWK numbers for HRBO were about what we would expect with a couple of late individuals counted in October putting the season total at 7. All 7 dark/intermediate morphs likely from the NW of the continent. GOLDEN EAGLE numbers are steady with a high of 30 on the 23rd. 137 for the month, and 150 season total should (with November) put us about average. The ‘golden’ highlight was Abbie Valine catching and banding the first GOLDEN EAGLE at HRBO since 2012! Way to go and truly gorgeous bird.

Count Trainees Broad-winged Hawk and American Kestrel Oct 31 2020AMERICAN KESTRELS, and MERLINS trickled through with both species logging in with 73 individuals. AMERICAN KESTREL numbers appear to be continually in decline unfortunately. 2002 saw 3,637 and in contrast we are only at 700 for the season. However, thanks to the count trainees, Maggie & Emma, we did have an American Kestrel and Broad-winged Hawk show up on October 31st! Finally, PEREGRINE FALCON numbers are down also despite their continued decade long recovery. This species can migrate at night and is best seen with southerly winds, which we had very few, so I would not initially read too much into this season's numbers.

Common Redpoll by J RichardsonAfter last year's dismal showing of winter finches, we are back to something far more interesting. COMMON REDPOLL (979), PINE SISKIN (11,523), PINE GROSBEAK (541), and both RED CROSSBILL (424) & WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL (2,233) have all been present. There is still a whole month of counting left and this amazing season shows no sign of slowing down!

Eyes to the skies everybody!

-John Richardson, Fall Count Director

October Banding Summary and Highlights

Abbie and Hannah Golden Eagle Oct 2020 by A Witchger 2Nearly 4,000 raptors banded through the end of October. October was surprising slow especially for Northern Harriers, Sharp-shinned Hawks, and Cooper's Hawks. However, this was certainly made up for with the record breaking flight of Rough-legged Hawks. Also exciting was catching good numbers of Northern Goshawks, especially SY (second-year) birds. The major highlight though was catching the first Golden Eagle since 2012. November is off to a good start and a full banding summary report will be shared in December. Thanks to all our supporters and the hard-working banding crew!

Here are our season numbers for banded raptors through 10/31.

Banding Trainees Halle and Jessy Oct 2020Northern Harrier-25
Sharp-shinned Hawk -1844
Cooper's Hawk -23
Northern Goshawk-52
Broad-winged Hawk -7
Red-shouldered Hawk -1
Red-tailed Hawk -74
Rough-legged Hawk -63
Golden Eagle -1
American Kestrel - 36
Merlin - 93
Peregrine Falcon- 5
TOTAL 2224

Banding Trainee Halle and Barred Owl Oct 20 3Northern Saw-whet Owl - 1586
Long-eared Owl- 159
Great Horned Owl- 39
Barred Owl- 15
Eastern Screech Owl- 1
TOTAL OWLS-1764

Total Raptors Banded as of 10/31 = 3,988

-Frank Nicoletti, Banding Director

Fall Education & Visitor Services Summary

IMG_1546It was a beautiful fall at Hawk Ridge this year and we were grateful to be able to provide count interpretation and some education programming and visitor services. There were only 3 days in each of September and October where we were weathered out compared to last year with many wet and soggy days with southerly winds. However, we also saw an unprecedented amount of snow in mid to late October- way too early for that kind of weather! Despite the cold, there were some great days in there for teaching about amazing numbers of Eagles, Red-tailed and Rough-legged Hawks! It was especially great to have our new count board up featuring not only hourly and daily bird migration number updates, but also information about seasonal averages and high counts (especially since several of those records were broken this year)!

IMG_1544Thanks to all who came out for a very different year this fall at Hawk Ridge! The Covid threat had us revising our standard practices, putting out extra health & safety signage, and scaling everything back. Even so, we were able to safely offer 18 formal educational programs for a total of about 200 participants. This of course is a small fraction of our normal numbers. Thanks to our wonderful education/visitor services team and our intrepid volunteers that were available on the fly to help at times (thanks Ralph, John, Dave, Gail, Sarah, and Harry - you are amazing)!

P.S. Be on the lookout for more virtual education programs trough the winter months. We are looking forward to the Advanced Hawk Identification Workshop on November 13th, and 14th, with Bill Clark, a virtual presentation for the Duluth Maritime Museum, 11:30 am, November 19th, and several others pending! In fact, if you know of a group that might enjoy a virtual program, let us know, we’d be glad to work with you to set something up! Hope to see you in the Spring!

-Margie Menzies, Education Director


IMG_3810WAYS OF GIVING

Hawk Ridge thanks each of you for believing in and supporting the work we do for the protection of birds. Every gift is much appreciated!

Charitable Giving Options

Charitable Giving Incentives Under the the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) passed in March, which means there are increased tax incentives for charitable giving. If you itemize your taxes, the AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) limit for charitable cash contributions has increased from 60 percent to 100 percent deducted. IRA Qualified Charitable Distributions can also be applied. If you don't itemize your taxes, the CARES Act allows for an additional "above the line" deduction for up to $300 for cash gifts made to charities, like Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. Donors should consult with their tax/legal advisor for questions on charitable giving incentives. Please contact Executive Director, Janelle Long, if you have questions on gifts of stock or other securities. 

Become A Member Today!

IMG_7480If you're already a member of Hawk Ridge, we sincerely appreciate your support! THANK YOU! If you're not a member and have enjoyed your experience with Hawk Ridge, we invite you to renew or join as a Hawk Ridge member today! Our memberships and donations help drive our bird conservation research and education programs. You can check out our exciting membership benefits and join or renew online HERE! Please click HERE to read the 2019 annual highlights and see how your support is helping us make a difference! Thank you!

Support Hawk Ridge by Shopping!

Sawwhet-Shirt Design 2019If you missed out on one of our fun shirt designs from a past season at our merchandise trailer, you might be in luck. You can order some of our past designs like this adorable Northern Saw-whet Owl by Alexa Carson and it's shipped directly to you! Order online HERE!

Two more simple ways to raise money for Hawk Ridge are by using charitable online shopping options. 1) You can shop online at your favorite stores through GoodShop and Hawk Ridge earns cash back! 2) If you like to shop on Amazon, you can add Hawk Ridge as your charity you support via Amazon Smile and Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory receives a donation of 0.5% of eligible purchases!

IMG_3875Simply Donate

You can always simply donate online by clicking HERE or by mailing a check made out to Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, P.O. Box 3006, Duluth, MN 55803

P.S. If you missed any of our recent previous newsletters, you can find them HERE.

Thanks again for your support!

Sincerely,

Janelle Long
Executive Director
Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory

Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory
P.O. Box 3006
Duluth, MN 55803-3006 
218-428-6209 
mail@hawkridge.org

Join us on Facebook and Instagram

Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with mission to protect birds of prey and other migratory birds in the Western Lake Superior Region through research, education, and stewardship.