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Healthy Forests

Healthy Forests

Waggoner’s Gap’s Hawk Watch, located on the Kittatinny Ridge, just north of Carlisle, Pennsylvania conducts a daily count of migrating hawks, eagles, and falcons from August 1 to Dec. 31 each year. With its first known counts from 1948, Waggoner’s Gap is one of the oldest count sites in North America. http://pa.audubon.org/waggoners-gap

The annual totals are more than 20,000 raptors, including some of the highest Golden Eagle counts east of the Rockies, the site is one of the finest places to watch migrating hawks in Pennsylvania.

The end of September is the peak migration of Broad-winged Hawks, which are a forest raptor that is small with chunky bodies and large heads. In the fall, thousands of Broad-winged Hawks travel south along the Kittatinny making their way to Central and South Americas where they spend the winter.  During the fall migration, sometimes huge flocks of birds will circle in the air together, which is called a kettle and is an amazing sight to see. We had nearly 4,000 Broad-winged Hawks during one day this September. Our season total so far is more than 8,000 individual Broad-winged Hawks recorded.  

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