Date: 3/30/18 7:26 am
From: <phawk254...>
Subject: [MASSBIRD] Plum Island Spring Hawk Migration Forecasts Available from Eastern Mass Hawk Watch (EMHW)
For the past several springs the Eastern Massachusetts Hawk Watch (EMHW) has provided an email service providing weather forecasts and basic info on the likelihood of hawk migration for the Plum Island Spring Hawk Watch 1-2 times per week for five weeks. If you are interested in looking for migrating hawks this spring please continue reading.

To join the email list, send an email to <phawk254...> and in the body of the email simply type out your complete name and your email address on separate lines. I will email everyone on the list 1-2 times a week through late April, depending on the weather and migration counts. The list will not be used in other seasons. If you were on the list last year, you should have already received the first forecast for this spring. If you have not received a forecast, please resubscribe. If you were subscribed but have changed your email address since last April, you will need to resubscribe. The Plum Island count should continue until about May 10, but I will not be able to send out forecasts after April 28.

In general, the bulk of the hawks along the northern Massachusetts coast pass between April 1 and May 10. There are no guarantees, but the best days at Plum tend to be the first and second day of a clearing cold front following a stationary front or prolonged rain. The best movement is seen on days with strong winds anywhere from the west (NW to SW). Winds from the north, east and south are generally not productive. Birds can be moving shortly after dawn and into the evening, but generally the bulk of the flight tends to be 9 a.m. EDT to 4 p.m. On really big days numbers might continue until dusk. Individuals might be seen moving at any time.

For weather forecasts, look for a weather web site that provides an hourly forecast at least 2-3 days out, including cloud cover, wind direction and speed, and temperature. More on selecting weather sites in the first forecast. It is critical to check the forecasts at least twice a day because they change frequently. The hawks pay no attention to forecasts. They go with what is!

Please remember that this service is an aid; not a guaranteed forecast of weather or hawk movement. The only way to see the best migration counts is to get out and look as often as possible. The Plum Island Hawk Watch is conducted on the deck at Parking Lot #1 of the refuge.

For more information on when and where to hawk watch, and to join, visit the Eastern Mass Hawk Watch Site at   

To see counts from Plum Island for this year and the preceding twelve years, go to and search for Plum Island Hawk Watch.



Paul M. Roberts
Medford, MA 

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