Date: 10/10/17 12:41 pm
From: Ehresman, Bruce <bruce.ehresman...>
Subject: [ia-bird] High Trestle HawkWatch Record High Raptor Numbers
Following Doug Harr’s earlier report, here are the results of Sunday’s
(Oct. 8) 6th Annual High Trestle HawkWatch, observations from the High
Trestle Trail bridge between Madrid & Woodward. A record-high total of 441
raptors (of 12 species) were observed during the 6-hour event. While a
very strong southerly wind and temperature in the 80s was not helpful, the
timing of the count was still good, because it followed two days of heavy
rains. Apparently raptors had stacked up during the stormy weather, and
almost every raptor observed was moving in a southerly direction.

Below is the number of raptors counted, a total from both ends of the

Turkey Vultures = 294

Goshawk = 1 (juv.)

Sharp-shinned Hawk = 6

Cooper’s Hawk = 10

Red-tailed Hawk = 46

Broad-winged Hawk = 2

Bald Eagle = 43

Northern Harrier = 4

Osprey = 16

Peregrine Falcon = 6

Merlin = 4

American Kestrel = 1

unidentified accipiter = 2

unidentified buteo = 6

An elevated concrete platform above the trestle’s west end, standing ~150
feet above the river valley, serves as an ideal viewing location. Including
the raptors, 57 total bird species were observed during the event.
Approximately 450 American White Pelicans, ~500 Double-crested Cormorants,
+1,000 Northern Shovelers, and ~50 Northern Pintails were observed flying
southward over the river and its bluffs, as well. We estimated that 275-325
people stopped at the two viewing sites, either to view birds or to
interact with the bird spotters. This event is a joint effort of the Iowa
Wildlife Center, Boone and Dallas County Conservation Boards, Iowa Audubon,
Big Bluestem Audubon Society, Iowa DNR, and Iowa Natural Heritage
Foundation. Marlene Ehresman gets credit for the juvenile Goshawk & Erica
and Andy Place get credit for the American Kestrel (hanging out beneath the
bridge). Thank you to all who contributed to this most successful event!

Bruce Ehresman

Ames, IA

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